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Biographic Sketch 5 

Preface 47 

' Anarchism : what it really stands for 53 

' Minorities versus Majorities 75 

The Psychology of Political Violence 85 

Prisons : a social crime and failure 115 

^ Patriotism : a menace to liberty 133 

Francisco Ferrer and The Modern School. . 151 

The Hypocrisy OF Puritanism 173 <^ ^7 

The Traffic in Women 183 

Woman Suffrage 201 

The Tragedy of Woman^s Emancipation. ... 219 

Marriage and Love 233 

The Drama: a powerful disseminator of 

radical thought 247 


Propagandism is not, as some suppose, a "trade/' 
because nobody will follow a "trade'* at which you 
may work with the industry of a slave and die with 
the reputation of a mendicant. The motives of any 
persons to pursue such a profession must be differ- 
ent from those of trade, deeper than pride, and 

stronger than interest 

George Jacob Holyoake. 

Among the men and women prominent in the public 
life of America there are but few whose names are 
mentioned as often as that of Emma Goldman. Yet 
the real Emma Goldman is almost quite unknown. 
The sensational press has surrounded her name with 
so much misrepresentation and slander, it would seem 
almost a miracle that, in spite of this web of calumny, 
the truth breaks through and a better appreciation of 
this much maligned idealist begins to manifest itself. 
There is but little consolation in the fact that almost 
every representativo of a now idift hao had to struggle 
and suffer under similar difficulties. Is it of any 
avail that a former president of a republic pays homage 
at Osawatomie to the memory of John Brown? Or 
that the president of another republic participates in 
the unveiling of a statue in honor of Pierre Proudhon, 
and holds up his life to the French nation as a model 


worthy of enthusiastic emulation? Of what avail is 
all this when, at the same time, the living John 
Browns and Proudhons are being crucified? The 
honor and glory of a Mary WoUstonecraft or of a 
Louise Michel are not enhanced by the City Fathers 
of London or Paris naming a street after them — ^the 
living generation should be concerned with doing 
justice to the Hinng Mary WoUstonecrafts and Louise 
Michels. Posterity assigns to men like Wendel 
Phillips and Lloyd Garrison the proper niche of honor 
in the temple of human emancipation ; but it is the 
duty of their contemporaries to bring them due recog- 
nition and appreciation while they live. 

The path of the propagandist of social Justice is 
strewn with thorns. The powers of darkness and 
injustice exert all their might lest a ray of sunshine 
enter his cheerless life. Nay, even his comrades in 
the struggle — indeed, too often his most intimate 
friends — ^show but little understanding for the per- 
sonality of the pioneer. Envy, sometimes growing 
to hatred, vanity and jealousy, obstruct his way and 
fill his heart with sadness. It requires an inflexible 
will and tremendous enthusiasm not to lose, under 
such conditions, all faith in the Cause. The repre- 
sentative of a revolutionizing idea stands between 
two fires: on the one hand, the persecution of the 
existing powers which hold him responsible for all 
acts resulting from social conditions; and, on the 
other, the lack of understanding on the part of his 
own followers who often judge all his activity from 
a narrow standpoint. Thus it happens that the agitator 
stands quite alone in the midst of the multitude sur- 


rounding him. Even his most intimate friends rarely 
understand how solitary and deserted he feels. That 
is the tragedy of the person prominent in the public 

The mist in which the name of Emma Goldman 
has so long been enveloped is gradually beginning to 
dissipate. Her energy in the furtherance of such an 
unpopular idea as Anarchism, her deep earnestness, 
her courage and abilities, find growing understand- 
ing and admiration. 

The debt American intellectual growth owes to the 
revo lutionary exiles h as never been fully appreciated. 
The seed disseminated by them, though so little un- 
derstood at the time, has brought a rich harvest. 
They have at all times held aloft the banner of lib- 
erty, thus impregnating the social vitality of the 
Nation. But very few have succeeded in preserving 
their European education and culture while at the 
same time assimilating themselves with American 
life. It is difficult for the average man to form an 
adequate conception what strength, energy, and per- 
severance are necessary to absorb the unfamiliar 
language, habits, and customs of a new country, 
without the loss of one's own personality. 

Emma Goldman is one of the few who, while 
thoroughly preserving their individuality, have be-* 
come an important factor in the social and intellectual 
atmosphere of America. The life she leads is rich in 
color, full of change and variety. She has risen to the 
topmost heights, and she has also tasted the bitter 
dregs of life. 


Emma Goldman was born of Jewish parentage 
on the 27th day of June, 1869, in the Russian province 
of Kovno. Surely these parents never dreamed what 
unique position their child would some day occupy. 
Like all conservative parents they, too, were quite 
convinced that their daughter would marry a respect- 
able citizen, bear him children, and round out her 
allotted years surrounded by a flock of grandchildren, 
a good, religious woman. As most parents, they had 
no inkling what a strange, impassioned spirit would 
take hold of the soul of their child, and carry it to 
the heights which separate generations in eternal 
struggle. They lived in a land and at a time when 
antagonism between parent and offspring was fated to 
(find its most acute expression, irreconcilable hostility. 
In this tremendous struggle between fathers and sons 
— ^and especially between parents and daughters — there 
was no compromise, no weak yielding, no truce. 
The spirit of liberty, of progress — an idealism which 
knew no considerations and recognized no obstacles — 
drove the young generation out of the parental house 
and away from the hearth of the home. Just as this 
same spirit once drove out the revolutionary breeder 
of discontent, Jesus, and alienated him from his native 

What role the Jewish race — notwithstanding all 
anti-semitic calumnies the race of transcendental ideal- 
ism — ^played in the struggle of the Old and the New 
will probably never be appreciated with complete im- 
partiality and clarity. Only now we are beginning 
to perceive the tremendous "^eSF^We owrTo Jewish 
idealists in the realm of science, art, and literature. 


But very little is still known of the important part 
the sons and daughters of Israel have played in the 
revolutionary movement and, especially, in that of 
modem times. 

The first years of her childhood Emma Groldman 
passed in a small, idyllic place in the German-Russian 
province of Kurland, where her father had charge of 
the government stage. At that time Kurland was 
thoroughly German; even the Russian bureaucracy of 
that Baltic province was recruited mostly from Ger- 
man junkers. German fairy tales and stories, rich in 
the miraculous deeds of the heroic knights of Kurland, 
wove their spell over the youthful mind. But the 
beautiful idyl was of short duration. Soon the soul 
of the growing child was overcast by the dark shadows 
of life. Already in her tenderest youth the seeds of 
rebellion and unrelenting hatred of oppression were 
to be planted in the heart of Emma Goldman. Early 
she learned to know the beauty of the State : she saw 
her father harassed by the Christian chinovniks and 
doubly persecuted as petty official and hated Jew. The 
brutality of forced conscription ever stood before her 
eyes: she beheld the young men, often the sole sup- 
port of a large family, brutally dragged to the bar- 
racks to lead the miserable life of a soldier. She 
heard the weeping of the poor peasant women, and 
witnessed the shameful scenes of official venality which 
relieved the rich from military service at the expense 
of the poor. She was outraged by the terrible treat- 
ment to which the female servants were subjected: 
maltreated and exploited by their barinyas, they fell 
to the tender mercies of the regimental officers, who 


regarded them as their natural sexual prey. These 
girls, made pregnant by respectable gentlemen and 
driven out by their mistresses, often fotmd refuge in 
the Goldman home. And the little girl, her heart 
palpitating with sympathy, would abstract coins from 
the parental drawer to clandestinely press the money 
into the hands of the unfortunate women. Thus Emma 
Goldman's most striking characteristic, her sympathy 
with the underdog, already became manifest in these 
early years. 

At the age of seven little Emma was sent by her 
parents to her grandmother at Konigsberg, the city of 
Emanuel Kant, in Eastern Prussia. Save for occa- 
sional interruptions, she remained there till her 13th 
birthday. The first years in these surroundings do not 
exactly belong to her happiest recollections. The 
grandmother, indeed, was very amiable, but the nu- 
merous aunts of the household were concerned more 
with the spirit of practical rather than pure reason, 
and the categoric imperative was applied all too 
frequently. The situation was changed when her 
parents migrated to Konigsberg, and little Emma was 
relieved from her role of Cinderella. She now regu- 
larly attended public school and also enjoyed the 
advantages of private instruction, customary in middle 
class life; French and music lessons played an im- 
portant part in the curriculum. The future inter- 
preter of Ibsen' and Shaw was then a little German 
Gretchen, quite at home in the German atmosphere. 
Her special predilections in literature were the senti- 
mental romances of Marlitt; she was a great admirer 
of the good Queen Louise, whom the bad Napoleon 


Buonaparte treated with so marked a lack of knightly 
chivalry. What might have been her future develop- 
ment had she remained in this milieu? Fate — or 
was it economic necessity? — ^willed it otherwise. Her 
parents decided to settle in St. Petersburg, the capital 
of the Almighty Tsar, and there to embark in busi- 
ness. It was here that a great change took place 
in the life of the young dreamer. 

It was an eventful period — ^the year of 1882 — 
in which Emma Goldman, then in her 13th year, 
arrived in St. Petersburg. A struggle for life and 
death between the autocracy and the Russian in- 
tellectuals swept the country. Alexander II had 
fallen the previous year. Sophia Perovskaia, 2hc- 
liabov, Grinevitzky, Rissakov, Kibalchitch, Michailov, 
the heroic executors of the death sentence upon the 
tyrant, had then entered the Walhalla of immortality. 
Jessie Helfman, the only regicide whose life the 
government had reluctantly spared because of preg- 
nancy, followed the unnumbered Russian martyrs to 
the etapes of Siberia. It was the most heroic period 
in the great battle of emancipation, a battle for 
freedom such as the world had never witnessed be- 
fore. The names of the Nihilist martyrs were on 
all lips, and thousands were enthusiastic to follow 
their example. The whole intelligenzia of Russia 
was filled with the illegal spirit: revolutionary senti- 
ments penetrated into every home, from mansion to 
hovel, impregnating the military, the chinovniks, fac- 
tory workers, and peasants. The atmosphere pierced 
the very casemates of the royal palace. New ideas 
germinated in the youth. The difference of sex was 



forgotten. Shoulder to shoulder fought the men and 
the women. The Russian woman! "Who shall ever 
do justice or adequately portray her heroism and 
self-sacrifice, her loyalty and devotion? Holy, Tur- 
geniev calls her in his great prose poem, On the 

It was inevitable that the young dreamer from 
Konigsberg should be drawn into the maelstrom. 
To remain outside of the circle of free ideas meant 
a life of vegetation, of death. One need not wonder 
at the youthful age. Young enthusiasts were not 
then — and, fortunately, are not now — a rare phe- 
nomenon in Russia. The study of the Russian 
language soon brought young Emma Goldman in 
touch with revolutionary students and new ideas. 
The place of Marlitt was taken by Nekrassov and 
Tchemishevsky. The quondam admirer of the good 
Queen Louise became a glowing enthusiast of liberty, 
^ resolving, like thousands of others, to devote her life 
to the emancipation of the people. 

The struggle of generations now took place in 
the Goldman family. The parents could not com- 
prehend what interest their daughter could find in 
the new ideas, which they themselves considered 
fantastic Utopias. They strove to persuade the young 
girl out of these chimeras, and daily repetition 
of soul-racking disputes was the result. Only in 
one member of the family did the young idealist 
find understanding — ^in her elder sister, Helene, with 
whom she later emigrated to America, and whose 
love and sympathy have never failed her. Even in 
the darkest hours of later persecution Emma Gold- 


man always found a haven of refuge in the home 
of this loyal sister. 

Emma Goldman finally resolved to achieve her 
independence. She saw hundreds of men and women 
sacrificing brilliant careers to go v nardd, to the 
people. She followed their example. She became a 
factory worker; at first employed as a corset maker, 
and later in the manufacture of gloves. She was 
now ^17 years of ape and proud to earn her own 
living, "^ad she remained in Russia, she would 
have probably sooner or later shared the fate of 
thousands buried in the snows of Siberia. But a 
new chapter of life was to begin for her. Sister 
Helene decided to emigrate to America, where an- 
other sister had already made her home. Emma 
prevailed upon Helene to be allowed to join her, and 
together they departed for America, filled with the 
joyous hope of a great, free land, the glorious 

America! What magic word. The yearning of 
the enslaved, the promised land of the oppressed, 
the goal of all longing for progress. Here man's 
ideals had found their fulfillment: no Tsar, no 
Cossack, no chinovnik. The Republic ! Glorious 
synonym of equality, freedom, brotherhood. 

Thus thought the two girls as they travelled, in 
the year 1886, from New York to Rochester. Soon, 
all too soon, disillusionment awaited them. The ideal 
conception of America was punctured already at 
Castle Garden, and soon burst like a soap bubble. 
Here Emma Goldman witnessed sights which re- 


minded her of the terrible scenes of her childhood 
in Kurland. The brutality and humiliation the 
future citizens of the great Republic were subjected 
to on board ship, were repeated at Castle Garden 
by the officials of the democracy in a more savage 
and aggravating manner. And what bitter disap- 
pointment followed as the young idealist began to 
familiarize herself with the conditions in the new 
land! Instead of one Tsar, she found scores of 
\ them; the Cossack was replaced by the policeman 
I with the heavy club, and instead of the Russian 
' chinovnik there was the far more inhuman slave- 
■ driver of the factory. 

Emma Goldman soon obtained work in the cloth- 
ing establishment of the Garson Co. The wages 
amounted to two and a half dollars a week. At 
that time the factories were not provided with motor 
power, and the poor sewing girls had to drive the 
wheels by foot, from early morning till late at 
night. A terribly exhausting toil it was, without a 
ray of light, the drudgery of the long day passed 
in complete silence — ^the Russian custom of friendly 
conversation at work was not permissible in the 
free country. But the exploitation of the girls was 
not only economic; the poor wage workers were 
looked upon by their foremen and bosses as sexual 
commodities. If a girl resented the advances of 
her "superiors", she would speedily find herself on 
the street as an undesirable element in the factory. 
There was never a lack of willing victims : the supply 
always exceeded the demand. 

The horrible conditions were made still more 


unbearable by the fearful dreariness of life in the 
small American city. The Puritan spirit suppresses 
the slightest manifestation of joy; a deadly dullness 
bedouds the soul ; „no intQllectiial inspiration, no 
thought exchange between congenial spirits is pos- 
sible. Emma Goldman almost suffocated in this atmos- 
phere. She, above all others, longed for ideal 
surroundings, for friendship and understanding, for 
the companionship of kindred minds. Mentally she 
still lived in Russia. Unfamiliar with the language 
and life of the country, she dwelt more in the 
past than in the present. It was at this period that 
she met a young man who spoke Russian. With 
great joy the acquaintance was cultivated. At last 
a person with whom she could converse, one who 
could help her bridge the dullness of the narrow 
existence. The friendship gradually ripened and 
finally culminated in marriage. 

Emma Goldman, too, had to walk the sorrowful 
road of married life; she, too, had to learn from 
bitter experience that legal statutes signify depend- 
ence and self-effacement, especially for the woman. 
The marriage was no liberation from the Puritan 
dreariness of American life; indeed, it was rather 
aggravated by the loss of self-ownership. The 
characters of the young people differed too widely. 
A separation soon followed, and Emma Goldman 
went to New Haven, Conn. There she found em- 
ployment in a factory, and her husband disappeared 
from her horizon. Two decades later she was fated ^ 
to be unexpectedly reminded of him by the Federal J 


The revolutionists who were active in the Russian 
movement of the 8o's were but little familiar with 
the social ideas then agitating Western Europe and 
America. Their sole activity consisted in educating 
the people, their final goal the destruction of the 
autocracy. Socialism and Anarchism were terms 
hardly known even by name. Emma Goldman, too, 
was entirely unfamiliar with the significance of those 

She arrived in America, as four years previously 
in Russia, at a period of great social and political 
unrest. The working people were in revolt against 
the terrible labor conditions ; the eight-hour movement 
of the Knights of I^bor was at its height, and 
throughout the country echoed the din of sanguine 
strife between strikers and police. The struggle 
culminated in the great strike against the Harvester 
Company of Chicago, the massacre of the strikers, 
and the judicial murder of the labor leaders, which 
followed upon the historic Haymarket bomb explo- 
sion. The Anarchists stood the martyr test of blood 
baptism. The apologists of capitalism vainly seek 
to justify the killing of Parsons, Spies, Ling-g-, 
Fischer, and Engel. Since the publication of Grov- 
emor Altgeld's reasons for his liberation of the 
three incarcerated Haymarket Anarchists, no doubt 
is left that a fivefold legal murder had been com- 
mitted in Chicago, in 1887. 

Very few have grasped the significance of the 
Chicago martyrdom; least of all the ruling classes. 
By the destruction of a number of labor leaders they 
thought to stem the tide of a world-inspiring idea. 


They failed to consider that from the blood of the 
martyrs grows the new seed, and that the frightful 
injustice will win new converts to the Cause. 

The two most prominent representatives of the 
Anarchist idea in America, Voltairine de Qeyre and 
Emma Goldman — ^the one a native American, the 
other a Russian — ^have been converted, like numerous \ ^ 
others, to the ideas^of ^Aniafchlsifn'TJy' tlie judicial j s 
murder: — Twcr women who had not known each / 
other before, and who had received a widely different 
education, were through that murder united in one 

Like most working men and women of America, 
Emma Goldman followed the Chicago trial with 
great anxiety and excitement. She, too, could not 
believe that the leaders of the proletariat would 
be killed. The nth of November, 1887, taught her 
differently. She realized that no mercy could be 
expected from the ruling class, that between the 
Tsarism of Russia and the plutocracy of America 
there was no difference save in name. Her whole 
being rebelled against the crime, and she vowed 
to herself a solemn vow to join the ranks of the 
revolutionary proletariat and to devote all her energy 
and strength to their emancipation from wage slavery. 
With the glowing enthusiasm so characteristic of her 
nature, she now began to familiarize herself with 
the literature of Socialism and Anarchism. She 
attended public meetings and became acquainted with 
socialistically and anarchistically inclined working- 
men. Johanna Greie, the well-known German lec- 
turer^ was the first Socialist speaker heard by Emma 


Goldman. In New Haven, Conn., where she was 
employed in a corset factory, she met Anarchists 
actively participating in the movement. Here she 
read the Freiheit, edited by John Most. The Hay- 
market ttagedy developed her inherent Anarchist 
tendencies: the reading of the Freiheit made her a 
conscious Anarchist. Subsequently she was to learn 
that the idea of Anarchism found its highest ex- 
/pression through the best intellects of America: the- 
oretically by Josiah Warren, Stephen Pearl Andrews, 
Lysander Spooner; philosophically by Emerson, 
Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. 

Made ill by the excessive strain of factory work, 
Emma Goldman- returned to Rochester where she 
remained till August, 1889, at which time she re- 
moved* to New York, the scene of the most important 
phase of her life. She was now twenty years old. 
Features pallid with suffering, eyes large and full 
of compassion, greet one in her pictured likeness 
of those days. Her hair is, as customary with 
Russian student girls, worn short, giving free play to 
the strong forehead. 

It is the heroic epoch of militant Anarchism. 
By leaps and bounds the movement had grown in 
every country. In spite of the most severe govern- 
mental persecution new converts swell the ranks. 
The propaganda is almost exclusively of a secret 
character. The repressive measures of the govern- 
ment drive the disciples of the new philosophy to 
conspirative methods. Thousands of victims fall 
into the hands of the authorities and* languish in 


prisons. But nothing can stem the rising tide of 
enthusiasm, of self-sacrifice and devotion to the \ 
Cause. The eflForts of teachers like Peter Kropotkin, t 
Louise Michel, Elis^ Rectus, and others, inspire the / 
devotees with ever greater energy. 

Disruption is imminent with the Socialists, who 
have sacrificed the idea of liberty and embraced the 
State and politics. The struggle is bitter, the 
factions irreconcilable. This struggle is not merely 
between Anarchists and Socialists; it also finds its 
echo within the Anarchist groups. Theoretic dif- 
ferences and personal controversies lead to strife and 
acrimonious enmities. The anti-Socialist legislation 
of Germany and Austria had driven thousands of 
Socialists and Anarchists across the seas to seek 
refuge in America. John Most, having lost his 
seat in the Reichstag, finally had to flee his native 
land, and went to London. There, having advanced 
toward Anarchism, he entirely withdrew from the 
Social Democratic Party. Later, coming to America, 
he continued the publication of the Freiheit in New 
York, and developed great activity among the Ger- 
man workingmen. 

When Emma Goldman arrived in New York in 
1889, she experienced little difficulty in associating 
herself with active Anarchists. Anarchist meetings 
were an almost daily occurrence. The first lecturer 
she heard on the Anarchist platform was Dr. A. 
Solotaroff. Of great importance to her future 
development was her acquaintance with John Most, 
who exerted a tremendous influence over the younger 
elements. His impassioned eloquence, untiring energy^ 


and the persecution he had endured for the Cause, 
all combined to enthuse the comrades. It was also 
at this period that she met Alexander Berkman, 
whose friendship played an important-TJSff Uifough- 
out her life. Her talents as a speaker could not 
long remain in obscurity. The fire of enthusiasm 
swept her toward the public platform. Encourag^ed 
by her friends, she began to participate as a German 
and Yiddish speaker at Anarchist meetings. Soon 
followed a brief tour of agitation taking her as 
far as Cleveland. With the whole strength and 
earnestness of her soul she now threw herself into 
the propaganda of Anarchist ideas. The passionate 
period of her life had begun. Though constantly toil- 
ing in sweat shops, the fiery young orator was at the 
same time very active as an agitator and participated 
in various labor struggles, notably in the great cloak- 
makers' strike, in 1889, 1^ by Professor Garsyde 
and Joseph Barondess. 

A year later Emma Goldman was a delegate to 
an Anarchist conference in New York. She was 
elected to the Executive Committee, but later with- 
drew because of differences of opinion regarding 
tactical matters. The ideas of the German-speaking 
Anarchists had at that time not yet become clarified. 
Some still believed in parliamentary methods, the great 
majority being adherents of strong centralism. These 
differences of opinion in regard to tactics led in 1891 
to a breach with John Most. Emma Goldman, 

: Alexander Berkman, and other comrades joined the 
group Autonomy, in which Joseph Peukert, Otto 

•^Rinke^ and Qaus Timmermann played an active part 


The bitter controversies which followed this secession 
terminated only with the death of Most, in igo6. 

A great source of inspiration to Emma Goldman 
proved the Russian revolutionists who were asso- 
ciated in the group Znamya, Goldenberg, Solo- 
taroff, Zametkin, Miller, Cahan, the poet Edelstadt, 
Ivan von Schewitsch, husband of Helene von Raco- 
witza and editor of the Volksseitung, and numerous 
other Russian exiles, some of whom are still living, 
were members of the group. It was also at this time 
that Emma Goldman met Robert Reitzel, the German- 
American Heine, who exerted a great influence on 
her development. Through him she became ac- 
quainted with the best writers of modem literature, 
and the friendship thus begun lasted till Reitzel's 
death, in 1898. 

The labor movement of America had not been 
drowned in the Chicago massacre; the murder of 
the Anarchists bad failed to bring peace to the 
profit-greedy capitalist. The struggle for the eight- 
hour day continued. In 1892 broke out the great 
strike in Pittsburg. The Homestead fight, the defeat 
of the Pinkertons, the appearance of the militia, 
the suppression of the strikers, and the complete 
triumph df tfle "f traction are matters of comparatively 
recent history. Stirred to the very depths by the 
terrible events at the seat of war, Alexander Berk- 
man resolved to sacrifice his life to the Cause and 
thus give an object lesson to the wage slaves of 
America of active Anarchist solidarity with labor. 
His attack upon Frick, the Gessler of Pittsburg, 


failed, and the twenty-two-year-old youth was doomed 
to a living death of twenty-two years in the peni- 
tentiary. The bourgeoisie, which for decades had 
exalted and eulogized tyrannicide, now was filled 
with terrible rage. The capitalist press organized a 
systematic campaign of calumny and misrepresenta- 
.tion against Anarchists. The police exerted every 

. effort to involve Emma Goldman in the act of 
Alexander Berkman. The feared agitator was to 

\ be silenced by all means. "Tf was bnly^^due to the 

Vcircumstance" of ner presence in New York that she 

escaped the clutches of the law. It was a similar 

circumstance which, nine years later, dtlfing the 

McKinley incident^ was. instrumental in preserying her 

* liberty. It is almost . incredible with what amoimt 
of stupidity, baseness, and vileness the journalists 
of the period sought to overwhelm the Anarchist 
One must peruse the newspaper files to realize the 
enormity of incrimination and slander. It would be 
difficult to portray the agony of soul Emma Gold- 
man experienced in those days. The persecutions of 
the capitalist press were to be borne by an Anarchist 
with comparative equanimity; but the attacks from 
one's own ranks were far more painful and unbear- 
able. The act of Berkman was severely criticized 
by Most and some of his followers among the 
German and Jewish Anarchists. Bitter accusations 
and recriminations at public meetings and private 
gatherings followed. Persecuted on all sides, both 
because she championed Berkman and his act, and 
on account of her revolutionary activity, Emma 
Goldman was harassed even to the extent of in- 


ability to secure shelter. Too proud to seek safety 
in the denial of her identity, she chose to pass the 
nights in the public parks rather than expose her 
friends to danger or vexation by her visits. The 
already bitter cup was filled to overflowing by the 
attempted suicide of a young comrade who had 
shared living quarters with Emma Goldman, Alex- 
ander Berkman, and a mutual artist friend. 

Many changes have since taken place. Alexander 
Berkman has survived the Pennsylvania Inferno, and 
is back again in the ranks of the militant Anarchists, 
his spirit unbroken, his soul full of enthusiasm for 
the ideals of his youth. The artist comrade is now 
among the well-known illustrators of New York. 
The suicide candidate left America shortly after his 
unfortunate attempt to die, and was subsequently 
arrested and condemned to eight years of hard labor 
for smuggling Anarchist literature into Germany. 
He, too, has withstood the terrors of prison life, 
and has returned to the revolutionary movement, 
since earning the well deserved reputation of a tal- 
ented writer in Germany. 

To avoid indefinite camping in the parks Emma 
Goldman finally was forced to move into a house 
on Third Street, occupied exclusively by prostitutes. 
There, among the outcasts of our good Christian soci- 
ety, she could at least rent a bit of a room, and 
find rest and work at her sewing machine. The 
women of the street showed more rcfintment of 
feeling and sincere S3TOpathy than the priests of the 
Church. But human endurance had been exhausted 


by overmuch suffering and privation. There was 
a complete physical breakdown, and the renowned 
agitator was removed to the "Bohemian Republic" — 
a large tenement house which derived its euphonious 
appellation from the fact that its occupants were 
mostly Bohemian Anarchists. Here Emma Goldman 
found friends ready to aid her. Justus Schwab, 
one of the finest representatives of the German 
revolutionary period of that time, and Dr. Solotaroff 
were indefatigable in the care of the patient. Here, 
too, she met Edward Brady, the new friendship 
subsequently ripening into close intimacy, Brady had 
been an active participant in the revolutionary move- 
ment of Austria and had, at the time of his ac- 
quaintance with Emma Goldman, lately been released 
from an Austrian prison after an incarceration of 
ten years. 

Physicians diagnosed the illness as consumption, 
and the patient was advised to leave New York. 
She went to Rochester, in the hope that the home 
circle would help to restore her to health. Her 
parents had several years previously emigrated to 
America, settling in that city. Among the leading 
traits of the Jewish race is the strong attachment 
between the members of the family, and, especially, 
between parents and children. Though her con- 
servative parents could not sympathize with the 
idealist aspirations of Emma Goldman and did not 
approve of her mode of life, they now received 
their sick daughter with open arms. The rest and 
care enjoyed in the parental home, and the cheering 
presence of the beloved sister Helene, proved so 


beneficial that within a short time she was sufficiently 
restored to resume her energetic activity. 

There is no rest in the life of Emma Goldman. 
Ceaseless effort and continuous striving toward the 
conceived goal are the essentials of her nature. Too 
much precious time had already been wasted. It 
was imperative to resume her labors immediately. The 
country was in the throes of a crisis, and thousands 
of unemployed crowded the streets of the large in- 
dustrial centers. Cold and hungry they tramped 
through the land in the vain search for work and 
bread. The^Anarchists developed a strenuous propa- 
ganda among the unemployed and the strikers. A 
monster demonstration of striking cloakmakers and 
of the unemployed took place at Union Square, 
New York. Emma Goldman was one of the in- 
vited speakers. She delivered an impassioned speech, 
picturing in fiery words the misery of the wage 
slave's life, and quoted the famous maxim of Car- ^ 
dinal Manning: "Necessity knows no law, and the s^' 
starving man has a natural right to a share of his N 
neighbor's bread." She concluded her exhortation ^ 
with the words : "Ask for work. If they do not give 
you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you 
work or bread, then take bread." 

The following day she left for Philadelphia, where 
she was to address a public meeting. The capitalist 
press again raised the alarm. If Socialists and 
Anarchists were to be permitted to continue agitating, 
there was imminent danger that the workingmen 
would soon learn to understand the manner in which 
they are robbed of the joy and happiness of life. 



f Such a possibility was to be prevented at all cost. 
/ The Chief of Police of New York, Byrnes, procured 
a court order for the arrest of Emma Goldman. 
She was detained by the Philadelphia authorities and 
incarcerated for several days in the Moyamensing 
\ prison, awaiting the extradition papers which Byrnes 
'i intrusted to Detective Jacobs. This man Jacobs 
^ (whom Emma Goldman again met several years later 
/ under very unpleasant circumstances) proposed to her, 
while she was returning a prisoner to New York, to 
' betray the cause of labor. In the name of his superior, 
Chief Byrnes, he offered lucrative reward. How 
stupid men sometimes are ! What poverty of psycho- 
logic observation to imagine the possibility of betrayal 
on the part of a young Russian idealist, who had will- 
ingly sacrificed all personal considerations to help in 
labor's emancipation. 

In October, 1893, Emma Goldman was tried in 
the criminal courts of New York on the charge of 
inciting to riot. The "intelligent" jury ignored the 
testimony of the twelve witnesses for the defense 
in favor of the evidence given by one single man- 
Detective Jacobs. She was found guilty and sentenced 
to serve one year jnthe penitentiary at Blackwell's 
Island; -Stnce'tfi? foundatron of the Republic she was 
the first woman — Mrs. Surratt excepted — to be im- 
prisoned for a political offense. Respectable society 
had long before stamped upon her the Scarlet Letter. 
Emma Goldman passed her time in the peni- 
tentiary in the capacity of nurse in the prison hospital. 
Here she found opportunity to shed some rays 
of kindness into the dark lives of the unfortunates 


whose sisters of the street did not disdain two 
years previously to share with her the same house. 
She also found in prison opportunity to study 
English and its literature, and to familiarize her- 
self with the great American writers. In Bret 
Harte, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Thoreau, and 
Emerson she found great treasures. 

She left Blackwell's Island in the month of 
August, 1894, a woman of twenty-five, developed and 
matured, and intellectually transformed. Back into 
the arena, richer in experience, purified by suffering. 
She did not feel herself deserted and alone any 
more. Many hands were stretched out to welcome 
her. There were at the time numerous intellectual 
oases in New York. The saloon of Justus Schwab, 
at Number Fifty, First Street, was the center 
where gathered Anarchists, litterateurs, and bohemians. 
Among others she also met at this time a number 
of American Anarchists, and formed the friendship 
of Voltairine de Cleyre, Wm. C. Owen, Miss Van 
Etton, and Dyer D. Lum, former editor of the 
Alarm and executor of the last wishes of the 
Chicago martyrs. In John Swinton, the noble old 
fighter for liberty, she found one of her staunch- 
est friends. Other intellectual centers there were: 
Solidarity, published by John Edelman; Liberty, by 
the Individualist Anarchist, Benjamin R. Tucker; 
the Rebel, by Harry Kelly; Der Sturmvogel, a Ger- 
man Anarchiist publication, edited by Claus Timmer- 
mann; Der Anne Teufel, whose presiding genius 
was the inimitable Robert ReitzeL Through Arthur 
Brisbane, now chief lieutenant of William Randolph 


Hearst, she became acquainted with the writings of 
Fourier. Brisbane then was not yet submerged in 
the swamp of political corruption. He sent Emma 
Goldman an amiable letter to Blackwell's Island, 
together with the biography of his father, the en- 
thusiastic American disciple of Fourier. 

Emma Goldman became, upon her release from 
the penitentiary, a factor in the public life of New 
York. She was appreciated in radical ranks for 
her devotion, her idealism, and earnestness. Various 
persons sought her friendship, and some tried to 
persuade her to aid in the furtherance of their 
special side issues. Thus Rev. Parkhurst, during 
the Lexow investigation, did his utmost to induce 
her to join the Vigilance Committee in order to 
fight Tammany Hall. Maria Louise, the moving 
spirit of a social center, acted as Parkhurst's go- 
between. It is hardly necessary to mention what 
reply the latter received from Emma Goldman. 
Incidentally, Maria Louise subsequently became a 
Mahatma. During the free silver campaign, ex- 
Burgess McLuckie, one of the most genuine per- 
sonalities in the Homestead strike, visited New 
York in an endeavor to enthuse the local radicals 
for free silver. He also attempted to interest Emma 
Goldman, but with no greater success than Mahatma 
Maria Louise of Parkhurst-Lexow fame. 

In 1894 the struggle of the Anarchists in France 
reached its highest expression. The white terror 
on the part of the Republican upstarts was an- 
swered by the red terror of our French comrades. 


With feverish anxiety the Anarchists throughout the 
world followed this social struggle. Propaganda by 
deed found its reverberating echo in almost all coun- 
tries. In order to better familiarize herself with 
conditions in the old world, Emma Goldman left 
for Europe, in the year 1895. After a lecture tour 
in England and Scotland, she went to Vienna where 
she entered the Allgemeine Krankenhaus to prepare 
herself as midwife and nurse, and where at the same 
time she studied social conditions. She also found 
opportunity to acquaint herself with the newest liter- 
ature of Europe: Hauptmann, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Zola, 
Thomas Hardy, and other artist rebels were read 
with great enthusiasm. 

In the autumn of 1896 she returned to New York 
by way of Zurich and Paris. The project of 
Alexander Berkman's liberation was on hand. The 
barbaric sentence of twenty-two years had roused 
tremendous indignation among the radical elements. 
It was known that the Pardon Board of Pennsyl- 
vania would look to Carnegie and Frick for advice 
in the case of Alexander Berkman. It was therefore 
suggested that these Sultans of Pennsylvania be 
approached — ^not with a view of obtaining their 
grace, but with the request that they do not attempt 
to influence the Board. Ernest Crosby offered to 
see Carnegie, on condition that Alexander Berkman 
repudiate his act. That, however, was absolutely 
out of the question. He would never be guilty of 
such forswearing of his own personality and self- 
respect. These efforts led to friendly relations be- 
tween Emma Goldman and the circle of Ernest 


Crosby, Bolton Hall, and Leonard Abbott. In the 
year 1897 she undertook her first great lecture tour, 
which extended as far as California. This tour 
popularized her name as the representative of the 
oppressed, her eloquence ringing from coast to coast 
In California Emma Goldman became friendly with 
the members of the Isaak family, and learned to 
appreciate their efforts for the Cause. Under tre- 
mendous obstacles the Isaaks first published the 
Firebrand and, upon its suppression by the Postal 
Department, the Free Society, It was also during 
this tour that Emma Goldman met that grand old 
rebel of sexual freedom, Moses Harman. 

During the Spanish-American war the spirit of 
chauvinism was at its highest tide. To check this 
dangerous situation, and at the same time collect 
funds for the revolutionary Cubans, Emma Goldman 
became affiliated with the Latin comrades, among 
others with Gori, Esteve, Palaviccini, Merlino, Pet- 
ruccini, and Ferrara. In the year 1899 followed an- 
other protracted tour of agitation, terminating on 
the Pacific Coast. Repeated arrests and accusationsi 
though without ultimate bad results, marked^ every 
propaganda tour. ' ' " ^ * 

In November of the same year the untiring 
agitator went on a second lecture tour to England 
and Scotland, closing her journey with the first 
International Anarchist Congress at Paris. It was 
at the time of the Boer war, and again jingoism 
was at its height, as two years previously it had 
celebrated its orgies during the Spanish-American 
war. Various meetings, both in England and Scot- 


land, were disturbed and brokm up_ by^jjatriotic /^ , , 
mobs. Emma Goldman found on this occasion the 
opportunity of ag^in meeting various English com- 
rades and interesting personalities like T^ Mann 
and the sisters Rossetti, the gifted ^augnrcrs of 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, then publishers of the An- 
archist review, the Torek One of her life-long 
hopes found here its fulfillment: she came in close 
and friendly touch with Peter Kropotkin, Enrico 
Malatesta, Nicholas Tchaikovsky, W. Tcherkessov, 
and Louise Michel. Old warriors in the cause of 
humanity, whose deeds have enthused thousands of 
followers throughout the world, and whose life and 
work have inspired other thousands with noble ideal- 
ism and self-sacrifice. Old warriors they, yet ever 
young with the courage of earlier days, unbroken 
in spirit and filled with the firm hope of the final 
triumph of Anarchy. 

The chasm in the revolutionary labor movement, 
which resulted from the disruption of the Inter- 
nationale, could not be bridged any more. Two 
social philosophies were engaged in bitter combat. 
The International Congress in 1889, at Paris; in 
1892, at Zurich, and in 1896, at London, produced 
irreconcilable diflFerences. The majority of Social 
Democrats, forswearing their libertarian past and 
becoming politicians, succeeded in excluding the revo- 
lutionary and Anarchist delegates. The latter decided 
thenceforth to hold separate congresses. Their first 
congress was to take place in 1900, at Paris. The 
Socialist renegade, Millerand, who had climbed into 
the Ministry of the Interior, here played a Judas 


role. The congress of the revolutionists was sup- 
pressed, and the delegates dispersed two days prior 
to the scheduled opening. But Millerand had no 
objections against the Social Democratic Congress, 
which was afterwards opened with all the trumpets 
of the advertiser's art. 

However, the renegade did not accomplish his 
object. A number of delegates succeeded in holding 
a secret conference in the house of a comrade out- 
side of Paris, where various points of theory and 
tactics were discussed. Emma Goldman took con- 
siderable part in these proceedings, and on that 
occasion came in contact with numerous representa- 
tives of the Anarchist movement of Europe. 

Owing to the suppression of the congress, the 
delegates were in danger of being expelled from 
France. At this time also came the bad news from 
America regarding another unsuccessful attempt to 
liberate Alexander Berkman, proving a great shock to 
Emma Goldman. In November, 1900, she returned to 
America to devote herself to her profession of nurse, at 
the same time taking an active part in the American 
propaganda. Among other activities she organized 
monster meetings of protest against the terrible out- 
rages of the Spanish government, perpetrated upon 
the political prisoners tortured in Montjuich. 

In her vocation as nurse Emma Goldman enjoyed 
many opportunities of meeting the most unusual and 
peculiar characters. Few would have identified the 
"notorious Anarchist" in the small blonde woman, 
simply attired in the uniform of a nurse. Soon after 
her return from Europe she became acquainted with 


a patient by the name of Mrs. Stander, a morphine 
fiend, suffering excruciating agonies. She required 
careful attention to enable her to supervise a very im- 
portant business she conducted, — ^that of Mrs. Warren. 
In Third Street, near Third Avenue, was situated her 
private residence, and near it, connected by a separate 
entrance, was her place of business. One evening, 
the nurse, upon entering the room of her patient, sud- 
denly came face to face with a male visitor, bull- 
necked and of brutal appearance. The man was no 
other than Mr. Jacobs, the detective who seven years 
previously had brought Emma Goldman a prisoner 
from Philadelphia and who had attempted to per- 
suade her, on their way to New York, to betray the 
cause of the workingmen. It would be difficult to 
describe the expression of bewilderment on the coun- 
tenance of the man as he so unexpectedly faced 
Emma Goldman, the nurse of his mistress. The 
brute was suddenly transformed into a gentleman, 
exerting himself to excuse his shameful behavior on 
the previous occasion. Jacobs was the "protector" of 
Mrs. Stander, and go-between for the house and the 
police. Several years later, as one of the detective 
staff of District Attorney Jerome, he committed per- 
jury, was convicted, and sent to Sing Sing for a year. 
He is now probably employed by some private detec- 
tive agency, a desirable pillar of respectable society. 

In 1901 Peter Kropotkin was invited by the Lowell 
Institute of Massachusetts to deliver a series of lec- 
tures on Russian literature. It was his second Amer- 
ican tour, and naturally the comrades were anxious to 
use his presence for the benefit of the movement. 


Emma Goldman entered into correspondence with 
Kropotkin and succeeded in securing his consent to 
arrange for him a series of lectures. She also d^ 
voted her energies to organizing the tours of other 
well known Anarchists, principally those of Charles 
W. Mowbray and John Turner. Similarly she always 
took part in all the activities of the movement, ever 
ready to give her time, ability, and energy to the 

On the sixth of September, 1901, President M^ 
Kinley was shot by Leon Czolgosz at Buffalo. Im- 
/'^ mediately an unprecedented campaign of persecution 
/ was set in moti on against Em ma Goldman as the best 
1 known An^bisLin the country! Although there was 
^ absolutely no foundatiatr*'^-feF--^e accusation, she, 
\ together with other prominent Atiarchists, was ar- 
Vrested in Chicago, kept in confinement for sev- 
eral weeks, and subjected to severest cross-examina- 
tion. Never before in the history of the country had 
such a terrible man-hunt taken place against a per- 
son in public life. But the efforts of police and press 
to connect Emma Goldman with Czolgosz proved 
futile. Yet the episode left her wounded to the heart 
The physical suffering, the humiliation and bru- 
tality at the hands of the police she could bear. 
The depression of soul was far worse. She was over- 
whelmed by the realization of the stupidity, lack of 
understanding, and vileness which characterized the 
events of those terrible days. The attitude of mis- 
understanding on the part of the majority of her 
own comrades toward Czolgosz almost drove her to 
desperation. Stirred to the very inmost of her soul, 


she published an article on Czolgosz in which she 
tried to explain the deed in its social and individual 
aspects. As once before, after Berkman's act, she 
now also was unable to find quarters ; like a verita- 
ble wild animal she was driven from place to place. 
This terrible persecution and, especially, the atti- 
tude of her comrades made it impossible for her to 
continue propaganda. The soreness of body and 
soul had first to heal. During 1901-1903 she did 
not resume the platform. As "Miss Smith" she lived 
a quiet life, practicing her profession and devoting 
her leisure to the study of literature and, particularly, 
to the modern drama, which she considers one of 
the greatest disseminators of radical ideas and en- 
lightened feeling. 

Yet one thing the persecution of Emma Gold- 
man accomplished. Her name was brought before 
the public with greater frequency and emphasis 
than ever before, the malicious harassing of the 
much maligned agitator arousing strong sympathy 
in many circles. Persons in various walks of life 
began to get interested in her struggle and her ideas. 
A better understanding and appreciation were now 
beginning to manifest themselves. 

The arrival in America of the English Anarchist, 
John Turner, induced Emma Goldman to leave her 
retirement. Again she threw herself into her public 
activities, organizing an energetic movement for the 
defense of Turner, whom the Immigration authori- 
ties condemned to deportation on account of the 
Anarchist exclusion law, passed after the death of 


When Paul Orlcneff and Mme. Nazimova arrived 
in New York to acquaint the American public with 
Russian dramatic art, Emma Goldman became the 
manager of the undertaking. By much patience 
and perseverance she succeeded in raising the neces- 
sary funds to introduce the Russian artists to the 
theater-goers of New York and Chicago. Though 
financially not a success, the venture proved of great 
artistic value. As manager of the Russian theater 
Emma Goldman enjoyed some unique experiences. 
M. Orleneff could converse only in Russian, and 
"Miss Smith" was forced to act as his interpreter at 
various polite functions. Most of the aristocratic 
ladies of Fifth Avenue had not the least inkling that 
the amiable manager who so entertainingly dis- 
cussed philosophy, drama, and literature at their five 
o'clock teas, was the "notorious" Emma Goldman. If 
the latter should some day write her autobiography, 
she will no doubt haye many interesting anecdotes 
to relate in connection with these experiences. 

The weekly Anarchist publication. Free Society, 
issued by the Isaak family, was forced to sus- 
pend in consequence of the nation-wide fury that 
swept the country after the death of McKinley. 
To fill out the gap Emma Goldman, in co-operation 
with Max Baginski and other comrades, decided to 
publish a monthly magazine devoted to the further- 
ance of Anarchist ideas in life and literature. The 
first issue of Mother Earth appeared in the month of 
March, i9o65--the-inlltat ^expenses of the periodical 
partly covered "by the -proceeds of a theater benefit 
given by Orleneff, Mme. Nazimova, and their com- 


pany^ in favor of the Anarchist magazine. Under 
tremendous difficulties and obstacles the tireless prop- 
agandist has succeeded in continuing Mother Earth 
uninterruptedly since 1906 — ^an achievement rarely 
equalled in the annals of radical publications. 

In May, 1906, Alexander Berkman at last left the 
hell of Pennsylvania, where he had passed the best 
fourteen years of his life. No one had believed in 
the possibility of his survival. His liberation ter- 
minated a nightmare of fourteen years for Emma 
Goldman, and an important chapter of her career 
was thus concluded. 

Nowhere had the birth of the Russian revolution 
aroused such vital and active response as among 
the Russians living in America. The heroes of the 
revolutionary movement in Russia, Tchaikovsky, 
Mme. Breshkovskaia, Gershtmi, and others visited 
these shores to waken the sympathies of the Ameri- 
can people toward the struggle for liberty, and to 
collect aid for its continuance and support. The 
success of these efforts was to a considerable extent 
due to the exertions, eloquence, and the talent for 
organization on the part of Emma Goldman. This 
opportunity enabled her to give valuable services to 
the struggle for liberty in her native land. It is not 
generally known that it is the Anarchists who are 
mainly instrumental in insuring the success, moral 
as well as financial, of most of the radical under- 
takings. The Anarchist is indifferent to acknowl- 
edged appreciation; the needs of the Cause absorb 
his whole interest, and to these he devotes his 
energy and abilities. Yet it may be mentioned that 


some otherwise decent folks, though at all times 
anxious for Anarchist support and co-operation, are 
ever willing to monopolize all the credit for the 
work done. During the last several decades it was 
chiefly the Anarchists who had organized all the 
great revolutionary efforts, and aided in every 
struggle for liberty. But for fear of shocking the 
respectable mob, who looks upon the Anarchists as 
the apostles of Satan, and because of their social 
position in bourgeois society, the would-be radicals 
ignore the activity of the Anarchists. 

In 1907 Emma Goldman participated as delegate 
to the second Anarchist Congress, at Amsterdam. 
She was intensely active in all its proceedings and 
supported the organization of the Anarchist Inter- 
nationale. Together with the other American dele- 
gate, Max Baginski, she submitted to the congress 
an exhaustive report of American conditions, closing 
with the following characteristic remarks: 

"The charge that Anarchism is destructive, 
rather than constructive, and that, therefore, An- 
archism is opposed to organization, is one of the 
many falsehoods spread by our opponents. They 
confound our present social institutions with or- 
ganization; hence they fail to understand how we 
can oppose the former, and yet favor the latter. The 
fact, however, is that the two are not identical. 

The State is commonly regarded as the highest 
form of organization. But is it in reality a true 
organization? Is it not^ralher an arbitrary institu- 
tionVcunhlhgly imposed upon the masses? 


Industry, too, is called an organization; yet 
nothing is farther from the truth. Industry is the 
ceaseless piracy of th e rich againsLthe poor. 

We are asked to believe that the Army is an 
organization, but a close investigation will show 
that it is nothing else than a cruel instrument of 
blind force. 

The Public School! The colleges and other insti- 
tutions of learning, are they not models of organiza- 
tion, offering the people fine opportunities for in- 
struction ? Far from it. The school, more than any 
other institution, is a veritable barrack, where the 
human mind is drilled and manipulated into sub- 
mission to various social an3 moral spooks, and thus 
fitted to contmue bur system of exploitation and 

Organization, as we understand it, however, is a 
different thing. It is based, primarily, on freedom. 
It is a natural and voluntary grouping of energies 
to secure results beneficial to humanity. 

It is the harmony of organic growth which pro- 
duces variety of color and form, the complete whole 
we admire in the flower. Analogously will the or- 
ganized activity of free human beings, imbued with 
the spirit of solidarity, result^in the perfection of 
social harmony, which we call Anarchism. In fact. 
Anarchism alone makes non-authoritarian organiza- 
tion of common interests possible, since it abolishes 
the existing antagonism between individuals and 

Under present conditions the antagonism of eco- 
nomic and social interests results in relentless war 


among the social units, and creates an insurmounta- 
ble obstacle in the way of a co-operative common- 

There is a mistaken notion that organization 
does not foster individual freedom; that, on the 
contrary, it means the decay of individuality. In 
reality, however, the true function of organization 
is to aid the development and growth of personality. 

Just as the animal cells, by mutual co-operation, 
express their latent powers in formation of the com- 
plete organism, so does the in dividual, by c o-opera- 
tive effort with other individuals, attam hisliighest 
form of development. 

An organization, in the true sense, cannot re- 
sult from the combination of mere nonentities. It 
must be composed of self-conscious, intelligent in- 
dividualities. Indeed, the total of the possibilities 
and activities of an organization is represented in 
the expression of individual energies. 

It therefore logically follows that the greater 
the number of strong, self-conscious personalities in 
an organization, the less danger of stagnation, and 
the more intense its life element. 

Anarchism asserts the possibility of an organiza- 
tion without discipline, fear, or punishment, and 
without the pressure of poverty: a new social or- 
ganism which will ms^ke an end to the terrible 
struggle for the means of existence, — ^the savage 
struggle which undermines the finest qualities in 
man, and ever widens the social abyss. In short, 
Anarchism strives towards a..S0cial organization 
which will establish well-being for all. 


The gttm of such an organization can be found 
in that form of trades unionism which has done 
away with centnclte^tlonf' bureaucracy, and dis- 
cipline, and which favors independent and direct 
action on the pari oTTts members." 

The very considerable progress of Anarchist 
ideas in America can best be gauged by the re- 
markable success of the three extensive lecture 
tours of Emma Goldman since the Amsterdam Con- 
gress of 1907. Each tour extended over new terri- 
tory, including localities where Anarchism had 
never before received a hearing. But the most 
g^tifying aspect of her untiring efforts is the tre- 
mendous sale of Anarchist literature, whose propa- 
g^ndistic effect cannot be estimated. It was during 
one of these tours that a remarkable incident hap- 
pened, strikingly demonstrating the inspiring poten- 
tialities of the Anarchist idea. In San Francisco, in 
1908, Emma Goldman's lecture attracted a soldier 
of file Ulliied SLateii*A:ffHy, WHHlim Buwalda. For 
daring to attend an "Anarchist meeting, the free Re-/ 
public court-martialed Buwalda and imprisoned him 
for one year. Thanks to the regenerating power 
of the new philosophy, the government lost a sol- 
dier, but the cause of liberty gained a man. 

A propagandist of Emma Goldman's importance 
is necessarily a sharp thorn to the reaction. She is 
looked upon as a danger to the continued existence 
of authoritarian usurpation. No wonder, then, that 
the enemy resorts to any and all means to make her 



impossible. A systematic attempt to suppress ber 
activities was organized" a year. ago by the united 
police force of the.-cauntry. But, lite all previous 
similar attempts^ it failed in a most brilliant man- 
ner. Energetic protests on the part of the intel- 
lectual element of America succeeded in overthrow- 
ing the dastardly conspiracy against free speech. 
Another attempt to make EjpqaajQsldi nan imp ossi- 
ble was essayed by tH\ Eedftgal authorities at Wash- 
ington.-Tn- order to deprive her of the rights of 
citizenship, the government revoked the citizenship 
papers of her husband, whom she had married at 
the youthful age of eighteen, and whose where- 
abouts, if he be alive, could not be determined for 
the last two decades. The great government of the 
glorious United States did not hesitate to stoop 
to the most despicable methods to accomplish that 
achievement. But as her citizenship had never 
proved of use to Emma Goldman, she can bear the 
loss with a light heart. 

There are personalities who possess such a pow- 
erful individuality that by its very force they exert 
the most potent influence over the best representa- 
tives of their time. Michael Bakunin was such a 
personality. But for him, Richard Wagner had 
never written Die Kunst und die Revolution. Emma 
Goldman is a similar personality. She is a strong 
factor in the socio-political life of America. By 
virtue of her eloquence, energy, and brilliant men- 
tality, she moulds the minds and hearts of thou- 
sands of her auditors. 


Deep sympathy and compassion for suffering 
humanity, and an inexorable honesty toward her- 
seli, are the leading traits of Emma Goldman. No 
person, whether friend or foe, shall presume to 
control her goal or dictate her mode of life. She 
would perish rather than sacrifice her convictions, 
or the right of self-ownership of soul and body. Re- 
spectability could easily forgive the teaching of 
theoretic Anarchism ; but Emma Goldman does not 
merely preach the new philosophy; she also persists 
in living it, — and that is the one supreme, unfor- 
givable crime. Were she, like so many radicals, to 
consider her ideal as merely an intellectual orna- 
ment; were she to make concessions to existing 
society and compromise with old prejudices, — ^then 
even the most radical views could be pardoned in 
her. But that she takes her radicalism seriously; 
that it has permeated her blood and marrow to the 
extent where she not merely teaches but also prac- 
tices her convictions — ^this shocks even the radical 
Mrs. Grundy. Emma Goldman lives her own life; 
she associates with publicans — Whence the indigna- 
tion of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 

It is no mere coincidence that such divergent 
writers as Pietro Gori and William Marion Reedy 
find similar traits in their characterization of Emma 
Goldman. In a contribution to Im Questione Sociale, 
Pietro Gori calls her a "moral power, a woman who, 
with the vision of a sibyl, prophesies the coming of 
a new kingdom for the oppressed; a woman who, 
with logic and deep earnestness, analyses the ills of 
society, and portrays, with artist touch, the coming 


dawn of humanity, founded on equality, brother- 
hood, and liberty." . 

William Reedy sees in Emma Goldman the 
"daughter of the dream, her gospel a vision which 
is the vision of every truly great-souled man and 
woman who has ever lived." 

Cowards who fear the consequences of their 
deeds have coined the word of philosophic Anarch- 
ism. Emma Goldman is too sincere, too defiant, to 
seek safety behind such paltry pleas. She is an 
Anarchist, pure and simple. She represents the 
idea of Anarchism as framed by Josiah Warren, 
Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tolstoy. Yet she 
also understands the psychologic causes which induce 
a Caserio, a Vaillant, a Bresci, a Berkman, or a 
Czolgosz to commit deeds of violence. To the sol- 
dier in the social struggle it is a point of honor to 
come in conflict with the powers of darkness and 
tyranny, and Emma Goldman is proud to count 
among her best friends and comrades men and 
women who bear the wounds and scars received in 

In the words of Voltairine de Cleyre, characteriz- 
ing Emma Goldman after the latter's imprisonment 
in 1893: The spirit that animates Emma Goldman 
is the only one which will emancipate the slave 
from his slavery, the tyrant from his tyranny — ^the 
spirit which is willing to dare and suffer. 

New York, December, 191a 





Some twenty-one years ago I heard the first great 
Anarchist speaker — ^the inimitable John Most. It 
seemed to me then^ and for many years after, that the 
spoken word hurled forth among the masses with such 
wonderful eloquence, such enthusiasm and fire, could 
never be erased from the human mind and soul. How 
could any one of all the multitudes who flocked to 
Most's meetings escape his prophetic voice! Surely 
they had but to hear him to throw off their old beliefs, 
and see the truth and beauty of Anarchism ! 

My one great longing then was to be able to speak 
with the tongue of John Most, — that I, too, might 
thus reach the masses. Oh, for the naivety of Youth's 
enthusiasm! It is the time when the hardest thing 
seems but child's play. It is the only period in life 
worth while. Alas 1 This period is but of short dura- 
tion. Like Spring, the Sturm und Drang period of the 
propagandist brings forth growth, frail and delicate, 
to be matured or killed according to its powers of 
resistance against a thousand vicissitudes. 

My great faith in the wonder worker, the spoken 
word, is no more. I have realized its inadequacy to 


awaken thought, or even emotion. Gradually, and 
with no small struggle against this realization, I came 
to see that oral propaganda is at best but a means of 
shaking people from their lethargy : it leaves no lasting 
impression. The very fact that most people attend 
meetings only if aroused by newspaper sensations, or 
because they expect to be amused, is proof that they 
really have no inner urge to learn. 

It is altogether different with the written mode of 
human expression. No one, unless intensely interested 
in progressive ideas, will bother with serious books. 
That leads me to another discovery made after many 
years of public activity. It is this : All claims of edu- 
cation notwithstanding, the pupil will accept only that 
which his mind craves. Already this truth is recog- 
nized by most modern educators in relation to the im- 
mature mind. I think it is equally true regarding 
the adult. Anarchists or revolutionists can no more 
be made than musicians. All that can be done is to 
plant the seeds of thought. Whether something vital 
will develop depends largely on the fertility of the 
human soil, though the quality of the intellectual seed 
must not be overlooked. 

In meetings the audience is distracted by a thou- 
sand non-essentials. The speaker, though ever so 
eloquent, cannot escape the restlessness of the crowd, 
with the inevitable result that he will fail to strike root. 
In all probability he will not even do justice to him- 

The relation between the writer and the reader is 
more intimate. True, books are onlv what we want 
them to be ; rather, what we read into them. That we 


can do so demonstrates the importance of written 
as against oral expression. It is this certainty which 
has induced me to gather in one volume my ideas on 
various topics of individual and social importance. 
They represent the mental and soul struggles of 
twenty-one years, — the conclusions derived after many 
changes and inner revisions. 

I am not sanguine enough to hope that my readers 
will be as numerous as those who have heard me. But 
I prefer to reach the few who really want to learn, 
rather than the many who come to be amused. 

As to the book, it must speak for itself. Ex- 
planatory remarks do but detract from the ideas set 
forth. However, I wish to forestall two objections 
which will undoubtedly be raised. One is in reference 
to the essay on Anarchism; the other, on Minorities 
versus Majorities. 

''Why do you not say how things will be operated 
under Anarchism?" is a question I have had to meet 
thousands of times. Because I believe that Anarchism 
can not consistently impose an iron-clad program or 
method on the future. The thinj^s every neW genera- 
tion has to fight, and which it can least overcome, are 
the burdens of the past, which holds us all as in a net. 
Anarchism, at least as I understand it, leaves posterity N^ 
free to develop its own particular systems, in harmony i 
with its needs. Our most vivid imagination can not 
foresee the potentialities of a race set free from ex- 
ternal restraints. How, then, can any one assume to 
map out a line of conduct for those to come ? We, who 
pay dearly for every breath of pure, fresh air, must 
guard against the tendency to fetter the future. If 


we succeed in clearing the soil from tiie rubbish of the 
past and present, we will leave to posterity the greatest 
and safest heritage of all ages. 

The most disheartening tendency common among 
readers is to tear out one sentence from a work, as a 
criterion of the writer's ideas or personality. Friedrich 
Nietzsche, for instance, is decried as a hater of the 
weak because he believed in the Uebermensch. It does 
not occur to the shallow interpreters of tfiat giant mind 
that this vision of the Uebermensch also called for a 
state of society which will not give IBirth to a race of 
weaklings and slaves. 

It is the same narrow attitude which sees in Max 
Stimer naught but the apostle of the theory "each for 
himself, the devil take the hind one." That Stimer's 
individualism contains the greatest social possibilities 
is utterly ignored. Yet, it is neverthelessjrugjthat if 
society is ever to become free, it will be so through 
liberated individuals, whose free efforts make society. 

These examples bring me to the objection that will 
be raised to Minorities versus Majorities. No doubt, 
I shall be excommunicated as an enemy of the people, 
because I repudiate the mass as a creative factor. I 
shall prefer that rather than be guilty of the dema- 
gogic platitudes so commonly in vogue as a bait for 
the people. I realize the malady of the oppressed and 
disinherited masses only too well, but I refuse to pre- 
scribe the usual ridiculous palliatives which allow the 
patient neither to die nor to recover. One cannot be 
too extreme in jijealing_mth»^Qcial_illsj Besides, tfie 
extreme thing is generally the true thing.. My lack of 
faith in the majority is dictated by my faith in the 



potentialities of the individual. Only when the latter 
becomes free to choose his associates for a common 
purpose, can we hope for order and harmony out of 
this world of chaos and inequality. 

^For the rest, my book must speak for itself. 




Ever reviled, accursed, ne'er understood, 

Thou art the grisly terror of our age. 
"Wreck of all order/' cry the multitude, 

"Art thou, and war and murder's endless rage." 
O, let them cry. To them that ne'er have striven 

The truth that lies behind a word to find, 
To them the word's right meaning was not given. 

They shall continue blind among the blind. 
But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure, 
^ Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken. 
I give thee to the future! Thine secure 

When each at least unto himself shall waken. 
Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest's thrill? 
, I cannot tell — ^but it the earth shall seel 
J am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will 

Not rule, and also ruled I will not be ! 

John Henky Mackay. 

The^ history of human growth and devetopment is 
at the same time the history of the terrible struggle 
of every new idea heralding the approach of a brighter 
dawn. In Its tenacious liold on tradition, the Old 



has never hesitated to make use of the foulest and 
cruelest means to sta y the a dvent of the New, in 
whatever form or period the Taf{ef m^yliave asserted 
itself. Nor need we retrace our steps into the dis- 
tant past to realize the enormity of opposition, diffi- 
culties, and hardships placed in the path of every 
progressive idea. The rack, the thumbscrew, and 
the jaiQut_are_still with us; so are the convict's garb 
and the social wrath, all conspiring against the spirit 
that is serenely marching on. 

Anarchism could not hope to escape the fate of 
all other ideas of innovation. Indeed, as the most 
revolutionary and uncompromising innovator, Anarch- 
ism must needs meet with the combined ig:norance 
and venom of the world it aims to reconstruct. 

To deal even remotely with all that is being said 
and done against Anarchism would necessitate tbt 
writing of a whole volume. I shall therefore meet 
only two of the principal objections. In so doing, 
I shall attempt to elucidate what Anarchism really 
stands for. 

The_^ strange phenomenon of the opposition to 
Anarchism is thaFit Brings to light the relation be- 
tween so-called intelligence and i^orands. And yet 
this Ts^ notso very strange when we consider the 
relativity of all things. The^ ignorant mass has in 
its Javor^hat itmakes no pretense of ki^s^lg^ or 
tolerance. Acting, as it always does, by mere impulse, 
its reasons are Jibe those of a^ child. ''Why?" 
"Because." Yet the opposition of the uneducated to 
Anarchism deserves the same consideration as that 
of the intelligent man. 


What, then, are the objections? First, Anarchism 
is impractical, though a beautiful ideal. Second, 
Anardiism stands for violence and destruction, hence 
it must be repudiated as vile and dangerous. Both 
the intelligent man and the ignorant mass judge not 
from a thorough knowledge of the subject, but either 
from hearsay or false interpretation. 

A practical scheme, says Oscar Wilde, is either ' *n 
one already in existence, or a scheme that could be } 
carried out under the existing conditions; but it is 
exactly the exisiirig* "condifibhs "ffial' one objects to, 
and any scheme that could accept these conditions is 
vrrong and foolish. The true criterion of the prac- 
tical, therefore, is not 'wtieTKer' 'tfie Tatter caii keep 
intact the wrong or foolish; rather is it whether the 
scheme has vitality enough to leave the stagnant 
waters of the old, and build, as well as sustain, new 
life. In the light of this conception, Anarchism is 
indeed practical. More than any other idea, it is 
helping to do away with the wrong and foolish; 
more than any other idea, it is building and sus- 
taining new life. 

The emotions of the ignorant man are continuously 
kept at a pitch by the most blood-curdling stories about 
Anarchism. Not a thing too outrageous to be em- 
ployed against this philosophy and its exponents. 
Therefore Anarchism represents to the unthinking 
what the proverbial bad man does to the child, — 
a black monster bent on swallowing everything; in 
short, destruction and violence. 

Dest ruction a nd violence! How is the qrditiary 
man t6icncJW"'tlrarthe most violent eiemenriii society 


is JqERorance; that its power of des^ction is the 
very diing Anardiism is comba^g ? Nor islie aware 
t6at Anarchism, wHose roots, as it were, arc part of 
nature's forces, destroys, not healthful tissue, but par- 
asitic growths that feed on the life's essence of so- 
ciety. It is merely clearing the soil from weeds and 
sagebrush, that it may eventually bear healthy fruit. 
Someone has said that it requircg less mental ef- 
fort to condemn than to think. The widespread 
mental indolence, so prevalent in society, proves this 
to be only too true. Rather than to go to the bot- 
tom of any given idea, to examine into its origin 
and meaning, most people will either condemn it alto- 
gether, or rely on some superficial or prejudicial def- 
inition of non-essentials. 

Anarchism urges man to think, to investigate, to 
analyze every proposition ; but that the brain capacity 
of the average reader be not taxed too much, I also 
shall begin with a definition, and then elaborate on 
the latter. 

ANARCHISM : — ^The philosophy of a new social 
order based on liberty unrestricted by man- 
made law ; the theory that all forms of govern- 
ment rest on violence, and are therefore wrong 
and harmful, as well as' unnecessary. 
The new social order rests, of course, on the 
materialistic basis of life; but while all Anarchists 
agree that the main evil today is an economic one, 
they maintain that the solution of that evil can be 
brought about only through the consideration of 
every phase of life, — individual, as well as the col- 
lective; the internal, as well as the external phases. 


A thorough perusal of the history of human devel* 
opment will disclose two elements in bitter conflict 
with each other; elements that are only now begin- 
ning to be understood, not as foreign to each other, 
but as closely related and truly harmonious, if only 
placed in proper environment: the individual and 
social instincts. The individual and society have 
waged a relentless and bloody battle for ages, each 
striving for supremacy, because each was blind to 
the value and importance of the other. The individual 
and social instincts, — the one a most potent factor for 
individual endeavor, for growth, aspiration, self-reali- 
zation; the other an equally potent factor for mutual 
helpfulness and social well-being. 

The explanation of the storm raging within the 
individual, and between him and his surroundings, 
is not far to seek. The primitive man, unable to 
understand his being, much less the unity of all life, 
felt himself absolutely dependent on blind, hidden 
forces ever ready to mock and taunt him. Out of 
that attitude grew the religious concepts of man as 
a mere speck of dust dependent on superior powers 
on high, who can only be appeased by complete sur- 
render. All the early sagas rest on that idea, which 
continues to be the leit-motif of the biblical tales 
dealing with the relation of man to God, to the State, 
to society. Again and again the same motif, man 
is nothing, the powers are everything. Thus Jehovah 
would only endure man on condition of complete 
surrender. Man can have all the glories of the earth, 
but he must not become conscious of himself. The 
State, society, and moral laws all sing the same re- 


frain: Man can have all the glories oi the earth, but 
Ijc must not become c giscious of himse lf. 

AnardrfSiins TKe " only philosophy which brings 
^tp man the consciousness of himself; which mam- 
^t^ns that God^ Jhe_.State^ and-sodety are nonHwdsfeit, 
^' that Itheir prpmises are-nulLaad-^aud^-imcOEtf^-jcan 
be^tilfilj^d Qnly throyghjiniaii^R subordination. An- 
archism is therefore the teacher oT the onTty-iof Jifc; 
not merely in nature, but in man. There is no con- 
flict between the individual and the social instincts, 
any more than there is between the heart and t he 
lungs: the one the receptacle of a precious life es- 
sence, the other the repository of the element that 
keeps the essence pure and strong. TheLJ adivid ual 
is^the heart^of ..SQciety^ccMQ&exving the essence of social 

]\ie i^s^ciAfy i<s the Inngg whirh ^^f" HTitrihiijing the 

^ment to.^J^£fiiL-.thfi.,iife-.e.s,sfnrp — that is, the in- 
diYiduaI---pure and strong. 

"The one thing of value in the world," says Emer- 
son, "is the active soul; this every man contains 
within him. The soul active sees absolute truth and 
utters truth and creates." In other words, the in- 
dividual instinct is the thing of value in the world. 
It is the true soul that sees and creates the truth 
alive, out of which is to come a still greater truth, 
the re-bom social soul. 

Aimtchi^n -is the great liberator of man from the 
phantoms that have held him captive; it is the ar- 
l^er -JLiiSt IpacXfier . of Jhe „twQ ,iorces forlndivid ual 
and__social harmony. To accomplish that unity, 
Anardbism has declared. yiBXsm the pprnirinns in- 
fluences which have so far .prevented the harmonious 



bla^ ^ing of indiyidualand^socij 
dhridiial ai^soaety. 

Rd^gion, the dominion of the human mindjPmp- 
e rty, the do minion o f_jiuman__neg.dg ; ^nd Go^*^^- 

ment^ tV'tf^n^'n^on nf h ntnan-rrmrfiirt'; rppiygwtt thf> 

stronghcrt d" OfmanV'^itSlavement and all the horrors 
it ent ails. Religion j^ Howjt dominates man's mind, 
^9w it_hijTrj1igtVs ?^nd dipgrad^s his sotil, fio^ is 
everything.jman is nothjng^^says religion. But out 
of that nothing God has created a kingdom so des- 
potic, so ^rannical^ so cruel, so terribly exacting that 
naught, but gloom and tears and blood have ruled 
the world since gods began. Anarchism rouses man 
to rebellion against this black monster. Break your 
mental fetters, says Anarchism to man, for not until T^ 
you think and judge for yourself will you get rid 
of the dominion of darkness, the greatest obstacle to 
all progress. 

Property, the dominion of man's needs, the denial 
of the right to satisfy his needs. Time was when 
property claimed a divine right, when it came to 
man with the same refrain, even as religion, "Sacri- 
fice! Abnegate! Submit!" The spirit of Anarchism 
has lifted man from his prostrate position. He now 
stands erect, with his face toward the light. He has 
learned to see the insatiable, devouring, devastating 
nature of property, and he is preparing to strike the 
monster dead. 

"Property is robbery," said the great French 
Anarchist, Proudhon. Yes, but without risk and 
danger to the robber. Monopolizing the accumulated 
efforts of man, property has robbed him of his birth- 



rights and has turned him loose a pauper and an 
outcast. Property has not even the time-worn ex- 
cuse that man does not create enough to satisfy all 
needs. The ABC student of economics knows that 
the productivity of labor within the last few decades 
far exceeds normal demand a hundredfold. But 
what are normal demands to an abnormal institution? 
The only demand that property recognizes is its own 
f gluttonous appetite for greater wealth, because wealth 
(means power: the power to subdue, to crush, to 
1 exploit, the power to enslave, to outrage, to degrade 
I America is particularly boastful of her great power, 
uier enormous national wealth. Poor America, of 
kvhat avail is all her wealth, if the individuals com- 
prising the nation are wretchedly poor? If they live 
m squalor, in filth, in crime, with hope and joy gone, 
a homeless, soilless army of human prey. 

It is generally conceded that unless the returns 
of any business venture exceed the cost, bankruptcy is 
inevitable. But those engaged in the business of pro- 
ducing wealth have not yet learned even this simple 
lesson. Every year the cost of production in human 
life is growing larger (50,000 killed, 100,000 
wounded in America last year) ; the returns to the 
masses, who help to create wealth, are ever getting 
smaller. Yet America continues to be blind to the 
inevitable bankruptcy of our business of production. 
Nor is this the only crime of the latter. Still more 
fatal is the crime of turning the producer into a mere 
particle of a machine, with less will and decision 
than his master of steel and iron. Man is bebg 
robbed not merely of the products of his labor, but 


of the power of free initiative, of originality, and 
the interest in, or desire for, the things he is making. 

Real wealth consists in things of utility and 
beauty, iirtMtf|rs that help to create strong, beautiful 
bodies and surroundings inspiring to live in. But 
if man is doomed to wind cotton around a spool, or 
dig coal, or build roads for thirty years of his life, 
there can be no talk of wealth. What he gives to 
the world is only gray and hideous things, reflecting 
a dull and hideous existence, — ^too weak to live, too 
cowardly to die. Strange to say, there are people 
who extol this deadening method of centralized pro- 
duction as the proudest achievement of our age. They 
fail utterly to realize that if we are to continue in 
machine subserviency, our slavery is more complete 
than was our * bondage *^ to" the King. They do not 
want to know that centralization is not only the death 
knell of liberty, but also of health and beauty, of 
art and science, all these being impossible in a clock- 
like, mechanical atmosphere. 

Anarchism cannot but repudiate such a method 
of production: its goal is the. Jf fcest possible e x- 
pression of all the latent powers at the mdividual. 
Oscar Wilde defines a perfect personality as "one 
who develops imder perfect conditions, who is not 
wounded, maimed, or in danger." A perfect person- 
ality, then, is oxily possible in a state oiE society where 
man is free to choose the rrjpde of work, the cQQdi- 
tion sjpf , yyorkf and Ijhe fre edom to work. One to^ 
whom the mi^idngruf a ggfEle, ihr building of a hnuge, 
or the tilling of die soil^ is what the painting is to 
the .artist -and .Jhc_Jiscovcix_ to the _^ 

/\ V/ 

1 1 ' l 


re§ult of inspiratJQn. of intense longing, and deep in- 
terest Jn work as a creative force. That_bdng_thc 
ideal of Anarchism, its economic arran gonent s must 
consisf of voluntary productive and di stributi ve as80- 
daliohs, gradualljdeveloping ..into .fx§ft-fflmmu^ 
as the best means of^rodiicmg witlT the least waste 
of human energy. Anarchism, however, ^dscr^recog- 
. mzes the right of the individual, or numbers of in- 
V^c'A ' dividuais, to arrange at all times for other forms 
-V^ of work, in harmony with their tastes and desires. 

\ 4 , Such free display of human energy being possible 

K ^ ^'v^\\ only under complete individual and social freedom, 
I Anarchism directs its forces, against the third and 
' ETffatfgt i^ <}^ all ?Tori''1 **q"aii>y;^a meTv, the Sta tCi 
! org^nl^ed.authprity, or_statutory law, — ^the dominion 
y ' of .human conduct. ~~" 

\ \ Just as^religion has fetteredthe human mind, and 
. -Y^ as property, or the monopoly. o£ thin^Tias .subdued 
^^ '' and stifled -man's needs, so has the State enslaved 

his spirit, dictating every phase of conduct. "All 
government in essence," says Emerson, "is tyranny." 
It matters not whether it is government by divine 
right or majority rule. In every instance its aim 
is the absolute subordination of the individual. 

Referring to the American government, the great- 
est American Anarchist, David Thoreau, said: "Gov- 
^.mmgniy-jwh^^ Ife - iUmt a traditif^n, th^igh a recent 
6ne^ endeavoring to_transmit itsdf unimpaired to 
posterity, but,.fiaGh_instance losing its"m15^rity; it 
has not the vitality and force of a~singTc Imng man. 
t^w never made man a whit more just; and by 


means of their respect for it, even the well dispoted 
are daily made agents of injustice/' 

Indeed, the keyno te of government is injustice. ^^^. 
With "the arrogance and gelf» 5uffide i M>y of the King 
who could do no wrong, governments ordain, judge, 
condemn, and punish the most insignificant offenses, 
while maintaining themselves by the greatest of all 
offenses, the annihilation of individual liberty. Thus 
Ouida is right when she maintains that "the State 
only aims at instilling those qualities in its public 
by which its demands are obeyed, and its exchequer 
is filled. Its highest attainment is the reduction of 
mankind to clockworTc. In its atmosphere all those 
Bxncr^ana more delicate liberties, which require treat- 
ment and spacious expansion, inevitably dry up and 
perish. The State requires a taxpaying machine in 
which there is no hitch, an exchequer in which there 
is never a deficit, and a public, monotonous, obedient, 
colorless, spiritless, moving humbly like a flock of 
sheep along a straight high road between two walls." 

Yet even a flock of sheep would resist the chicanery 
of the State, if it were not for the corruptive, ty- 
rannical, and oppressive methods it employs to serve 
its purposes. Therefore Bakunin repudiates the State 
as synonymous with the surrender of the liberty of 
the individual or small minorities, — ^the destruction of 
social relationship, the curtailment, or complete denial 
even, of life itself, for its own aggrandizement. The 
State is the altar of political freedom and, like the 
religious altar, it is maintained for the purpose of 
human sacrifice. 

In fact, there is hardly a modem thinker who 


does not agree that government, organized authority, 
or the State, is necessary only to maintain or pro- 
tect property and monopoly. It has proven efficient 
in that function only. 

Even George Bernard Shaw, who hopes for the 
miraculous from the State under Fabianism, never- 
theless admits that ''it is at present a huge machine 
for robbing and slave-driving of the poor by brute 
force." This being the case, it is hard to see why 
the clever prefacer wishes to uphold the State after 
poverty shall have ceased to exist. 

Unfortunately Jhere are still a number of people 
who continue in the fatal belief that governmen t rests 
on natural Taws, fhat~Tt "maintains soc ial order a nd 
harmony, that it diminishes crime, and that it pre- 
^ii*freiifs theTazy man from fleecing his felto I 

shall therefore examine these contentions. 

A natural law Js that factor in man_ which asserts 
iteelf freely and spontaneously without any_extemal 
force, in harmony 'wiffi" the "requirements of nature. 
For instance, the demand for nutrition, for sex grati- 
fication, for light, air, and exercise, is a natural law. 
But its expression needs not the machineixiii^vern- 
(. ment, needs not the club, the g^n, the handcuff, or 
^,jl the prison. To obey "~such "Taws, if jwe may call it 
,)' -/^f^oSedience, requires _onljjr spontandty _andl free oppor- 
tunity. That governments do not maintain them- 
selves through such harmonious factors is proven by 
the terrible array of violence, force, and coercion all 
governments use in order to live. Thus Blackstone 
is right when he says, ''Human laws are invalid, be* 
cause they are contrary to the laws of nature." 


Unless it be the order of Warsaw after the 
slaughter of thousands of people, it is difficult to ascribe 
to governments any capacity for order or social har- 
mony. Order derived through submission and main- 
tained by terror is not much of a safe guaranty; yet 
that is the only "order" that governments have ever 
maintained. Truesoc ial harmony grow s naturajly out 
of soli darity o lrintSestsr"^ In a socie ly w l i gfg jhose ^^^^ 
wHqltlWa ys wofk never Tiave anytMng^Jiyliile-those '^^^^ 
who never work enjoy everything, solidarity of in- 
tefestr is non-existmt; liSce~social harmony is but 
a myth. The only way ofganized^ authority meets 
this grave situation is by extending still greater 
privileges to those who have already monopolized 
the earth, and by still further enslaving the disin- 
herited masses. Thus the entire arsenal of govern- 
ment — ^laws, police, soldiers, the courts, legislatures, 
prisons, — is strenuously engaged in "harmonizing" 
the most antagonistic elements in society. 

The most absurd apology for authority and law 
is that they serve to diminish crime. Aside from 
the fact that the State^i^. itself jAejj;eate5±.i:^^ 
inal. br eaking ever y wj-ittjen and MturaHawj^^^ 
in^n the form of taxes, killing in the form of war 
and capital puhish ment/it ha s^^come] to~ an absolute ; 
stapdstilLm-rcoping -valb._crime^ It has failed/ 
utterly to d estroy or even niini mize the horrible 
scourge of jts own creation. 

Crime is naught but misdirected energy. So long 
as every institution of today, economic, political, 
social, and moral, conspires to misdirect human 
energy into wrong channels; so long as most people 



.^^3 are out of place doing the things they hate to do, 
.:^ ^ living a life they loathe to live, crime win be incv- 
v^^*^ itable, and all the laws on the statutes can only in- 
tv^ crease, but never do away with, crime. What does 
^i:!" society, as it exists today, know of the process of 
j^ J" despair, the poverty, the horrors, the fearful struggle 
■^' -^ the human soul must pass on its way to crime and 
r; degradation. Who that knows this terrible process 
^ can fail to see the truth in these words of Peter 
" Kropotkin : 
^ 5 "Those who will hold the balance between the 
benefits thus attributed to law and punishment 


t^.^ and the degrading effect of the latter on humanity; 

-.j §> 5.^ those who will estimate the torrent of depravity 

"^^ V*^ poured abroad in human society by the informer, 

<^, "^ ^' favored by the Judge even, and paid for in clinking 

v^ ^ ^ cash by governments, under the pretext of aiding 

^ ;^ ^ to unmask crime; those who will go within prison 

V S ^ walls and there see what^uman bfiings-become 

^^ X^'H when jdepriye4. of Jiberiy, when subjected to the 

^ ^ ^ cafe of brutal keepers, to coarse^^cruei'words, to a 

^. '^li i^ thousand stinging, piercing humiliations, will agree 

-"<i §^f with us that the entire apparatus of prison and pun- 

k .s^*> ishment is an abomination which ought to be 

r> . • J^ brought to an end." 

. V'^ The deterrent influence of law on the lazy man 

jk- '^^ is too absurd to merit consideration. If society 
-^W^^ were only relieved of the waste and expense of 
' ^^ keeping a lazy class, and the equally great expense 
''^:j "^ of the paraphernalia of protection this lazy class 
requires, the social tables would contain an abun- 
dance for all, including even the occasional lazy 


.. 'V 




individual. Besides, it is well to cghsider that lazi- ^o^M 
ness results citihctHroni- special privSeges, or pbys- ^ 
ical andihental abnormalities. Our present insane ^f 
systern" of production fosters both, and the most 
astounding phenomenon is that people should want 
to work at all now. Anarchism aims to strip labor 
of its deadening^ dulling^s£ect^ of its"gIooin and 
compulsion. It^ainis to jmake w<^fe AoJnstrument 
of joy, of strength, of color, of real harmony, so 
that the poorest sort of a man should find in work 
both recreation and hope. 

To achieve such an arrangement of life, govern- ) 
ment, with its unjust, arbitrary, repressive measures, i 
must be done away with. At best it has but im- » 
posed one single mode of life upon all, without 
regard to individual and social variations and needs. 
In destroying government and statutory laws. An- j 
archism proposes to rescue the self-respect and 
independence of the individual from all restraint 
and invasion by authority. Only in freedom can 
man grow to his full stature*-. Oiy freedpmw^^ 
he learn to think and moyCj^^ and give the very best 
in him. Only in freedom will lie realize the true 
force of the social bonds which knit men together, 
and which are the true foundation of a normal 
social life. 

JBut what about human nature? C%n it be 
chang«J? . , Aj3nFIn6i,7 win it ~€ndlif€ under An- 

Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have 
been committed in thy name! Every fool, from 
king to policeman, from the flatheaded par- 




son to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes 
to speak authoritatively of human nature. The 
greater the mental charlatan, the more delihite his 
insistence on the wickedne ss and wea knesses of 
human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it to- 
day^with every soul in a prison, with every heart fet- 
tered, wounded, and maimed? 

/ John Burroughs has stated that experimental 
study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless, 
'their character, their habits, their appetites un- 
dergo a complete transformation when torn from 
their soil in field and forest. With human nature 
j:aged in a narrow space, whipped daily into sub- 
mission, how can we speak of its potentialities ? 
I Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, 
peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dom- 
i|pant factors of human nature and all its wonderful 

Anarchism, then, really ^stands Jor-the-Jiberation 
of the Tiuman mmd from the _dp_mi nion o f religion; 
the liberation of the. human body from the dominion 
of priq)erty; lib eration from Jim -sBacHes- and re- 
straint of government. Anarchism- stands, for a 
social order based on the free grouping of individ- 
ualsjor the juipose of producm^ social wealth ; 
an order that will guarantee to every human being 
free acces s' to the earth and fult^enjoymcnt of the 
necessities of hfe, aecofding IcT "mdmdiM^^ desires, 
-tastes, and inclinations. 

This is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the 
mind. It is the conclusion arrived at by hosts of 
intellectual men and women the world over ; a con- 


elusion resulting from the close and studious ob- 
servation of the tendencies of modern society ! indi- 
vidual liberty and economic equality, the twin 
forces for the birth of what is fine and true in mian. 

As to methods. Anarchism is not, as some may 
suppose, a theory of the future to be realized 
through divine inspiration. It is a living force in 
the affairs of our life, constantly creating new con- 
ditions. Thci^jnethods of Anarchism therefore do 
not comprise an ifori-cfatd— p ro g r am to- 4)e carried 
out under alt circumstances. Methods must grow 
out of the economic^ needs of each place sind ^ 
clime, and of the intellectual and temperamenSl f 
requirements of the individual. The serene, calm \ 
character of a Tolstoy will wish different methods 1 
for social reconstruction than the intense, overflow- I 
ing personality of a Michael Bakunin or a Peter Kro- 1 
potkin. Equally so it must be apparent that the I 
economic and political needs of Russia will dictate r 
more drastic measures than would England or/ 
America. Anarchism does not stand for military 
drill and uniformity; it does, however, stand for 
the spirit. of revolt, in whatever form, against 
everything that hinders human growth. All An- 
arch ists agree in that, as they also agree in their 
oppositicJtt^fo^tHe* poHticalTtiacIiinery as a means 
Of biih^ng about the great social j:hang e . 

'*Air voting^'* says Thoreau, "is a sort of gaming, 
like checkers, or backgammon, a playing with right 
and wrong; its obligation never exceeds that of 
expediency. Even voting for the right thing is 
doing nothing for it. A wise man will not leave 


the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to pre- 
vail through the power of the majority." A close 
examination of the machinery of politics and its 
achievonents will bear out the logic of Thof eau. 

What dgesJtheJhistor3r^ofj)arIiament^ show? 
Nothmgbut failure and defeat, not even a single 
reform to ameliorate the economic and social stress 
of the people. Laws have been passed and enact- 
ments made for the improvement and protection of 
labor. Thus it was proven only last year that Illi- 
nois, with the most rigid laws for mine protection, 
had the greatest mine disasters. In States where 
child labor laws prevail, child exploitation is at its 
highest, and though with us the workers enjoy full 
political opportunities, capitalism has reached the most 
brazen zenith. 

Even were the workers able to have their own 
representatives, for which our good Socialist politi- 
cians are clamoring, what chances are there for 
their honesty and good faith? One has but to bear 
in mind the process of politics to realize that its 
path of good intentions is full of pitfalls: wire- 
pulling, intriguing, flattering, lying^^ cheating; in 
fact, chicanery of every description, whereby the 
political aspirant can achieve success. Added to 
that is a complete demoralization of character and 
conviction, until nothing is left that would make 
one hope for anything from such a human derelict. 
Time and time again the people were foolish enough 
to trust, believe, and support with their last farthing 
aspiring politicians, only to find themselves betrayed 
and cheated. 


It may be claimed that men of integrity 
would not become corrupt in the political grinding 
mill. Perhaps not; but such men would be abso- 
lutely helpless to exert the slightest influence in 
behalf of labor, as indeed has been shown in nu- 
merous instances. The State is the economic mas- 
ter of its servants. G^9d^JJl5yL-4LiSJ£lVLS^^ 
would either remain true to their political faith and 
lose their economic support, or they would cling to 
their economic master and be utterly unable to do 
the slightest good. The political arena leaves one 
no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a 

The political superstition is still holding sway 
over the hearts and minds of the masses, but the true 
lovers of liberty will have no more to do with it. 
Instead, theyHbdieve with Stifner lliat man has as 
much liberty as he is willing to take. Anarchism 
therefore stands for direct action, the open defiance 
of, and resistance to, all laiys and restrictions, 
economic, social, and moral. But defiance and re- 
sistance are illegal. Therein lies the salvation of 
man. Ever3rthing illegal necessitates integrity, self- 
reliance, and courage. In short, it calls for free, 
independent spirits, for ''men who are men, and 
who have a bone in their backs which you cannot 
pass your hand through." 

Universal suffrage itself owes its existence to 
direct action. If not for the spirit of rebellion, of 
the defiance on the part of the American revolu- 
tionary fathers, their posterity would still wear the 
King's coat. If not for the direct action of a John 




Brown and his comrades, America would still trade 
in the flesh of the black man. True, the trade in 
white flesh is still going on; but that, too, will have 
to be abolished by direct action.', Trade unionism, 
the economic arena'cif the modern gladiator, owes 
its existence to direct action. It is but recently 
/^ that law and government have attemgt^.tcuxnish 
the trade union movement, and condemned the ex- 
ponents of man's right to orgafSzVto prison as con- 
spirators. Had they sought to assert their cause 
through begging, pleading, and compromise, trade 
unionism would today be a negligible quantity. In 
France, in Spain, in Italy, in Russia, nay even in 
England (witness the growing rebellion of English 
labor unions) direct, revolutionary, economic ac- 
tion has become so strong a force in the battle for 
industrial liberty as to make the world realize the 
tremendous importance of labor's power. The Gen- 
eral Strike, the supTwne'^xpression of the economic 
consciousness of the workers, was ridiculed in 
America but a short time ago. Today every great 
strike, in order to win, must realize the importance 
of the solidaric general protest. 

Direcl action^ having proved effective along 
economic lines, is equally potent in the environment 
of the individual. There a hundred forces encroach 
upon his being, and only persistent resistance to them 
will Anally set him free. Direct action against the au- 
thority in the shop, direct action against the au- 
thority of the law, direct action against the invasive, 
meddlesome authority of our moral code, is the 
logical, consistent method of Anarchism. 

ANARCHISM 73 p <-'< * 

Will it not lead to a revolution ? Indeed, it willfA 
No real social cKangeTfgS^ etfg r re n re abtttft Without ^ 
a revolution. People are either not familiar with 
their history, or they have not yet learned that 
revolution is but thought carried into action. '^ 

Anarchism, the great leaven of thought, is to- 
day permeating every phase of human endeavor. 
Science, art, literature, the drama, the effort for 
economic betterment, in fact every individual and 
social opposition to the existing disorder of things, 
is illumined by the spiritual light of Anarchism. It 
is^ the- philosophy^ jo f the sovereign ty of the indi- 
yidual. _Jt_is the theory of social h armony. ^T t is 
the jprfiat;^ surging, living truth tKat is reconstruct- 
ing the world, and that will usher in the Dawn. 



If I WERE to give a summary of the tendency of 
our times, I would say, Quantity. The multitude, 
the mass spirit, dominates everywhere, destroying 
quality. Our entire life — ^production, politics, and edu- 
cation — rests on quantity, on numbers. The worker 
who once took pride in the thoroughness and quality 
of his work, has been replaced by brainless, incom- 
petent automatons, who turn out enormous quantities 
of things, valueless to themselves, and generally in- 
jurious to the rest of mankind. Thus quantity, in- 
stead of adding to life's comforts and peace, has 
merely increased man's burden. 

In politics, naught but quantity counts* In propor- 
tion to its increase, however, principles, ideals, jus- 
tice, and uprightness are completely swamped by the 
array of numbers. In the struggle for supremacy 
the various political parties outdo each other in 
trickery, deceit, cunning, and shady machinations, con- 
fident that the one who succeeds is sure to be hailed 
by the majority as the victor. That is the only 
god, — Success. As to what expense, what terrible 
cost to character, is of no moment. We have not 
far to go in search of proof to verify this sad fact. 


> « 


Never before did the corruption, the complete rot- 
tenness of our government stand so thoroughly ex- 
posed ; never before were the American people brought 
face to face with the Judas nature of that political 
body, which has claimed for years to be absolutely 
beyond reproach, as the mainstay of our institutions, 
the true protector of the rights and liberties of the 

Yet when the crimes of that party became so 
brazen that even the blind could see them, it needed 
but to muster up its minions, and its supremacy was 
assured. Thus the very victims, duped, betrayed, out- 
raged a hundred times, decided, not against, but in 
favor of the victor. Bewildered, the few asked how 
could the majority betray the traditions of American 
liberty? Where was its judgment, its reasoning ca- 
pacity? That is just it, the majority cannot reason; 
it has no judgment. Lacking utterly in originality 
and moral courage, the majority has always placed 
its destiny in the hands of others. Incapable of 
standing responsibilities, it has fcdlowed its leaders 
even unto destruction. Dr. Stockman was right : "The 
most dangerous enemies of truth and justice in our 
midst are the compact majorities, the damned com- 
pact majority." Without ambition or initiative, the 
compact mass hates nothing so much as innovation. 
It has always opposed, condemned, and hounded the 
innovator, the pioneer of a new truth. 

The oft repeated slogan of our time is, among 
all politicians, the "SociaTistS ^nctOciSd; that ours is an 
era of Individualism, of the minority. Only those 
who do not prob"e*beneath 'the surface Inigfit^Be' led 


to entertain this view. Have not the few accumu- 
lated the wealth of the world? Are they not the 
masters, the absolute kings of the situation? Their 
success, however, is due not to individualism, but to 
the inertia, th e cravenness. the utter submissio n of 
the niass. llie^ latter wants but to be dominated, to 
be led, to be coerced. As to individualism, at no 
time in human history did it have less chance of 
expression, tess oppUllWllty tO asSCIT itself in a 
normal, healthy manner. 

The individual educator imbued with honesty of 
purpose, the artist or writer of original ideas, the 
independent scientist or explorer, the non-compromis- 
ing pioneers of social changes are daily pushed to the 
wall by men whose learning and creative ability have 
become decrepit with age. 

Educators of Ferrer's type are nowhere tolerated, 
while the dietitians of predigested food, a la Pro- 
fessors Eliot and Butler, are the successful perpetu- 
ators of an age of nonentities, of automatons. In the 
literary and dramatic world, the Humphrey Wards 
and Qyde Fitches are the idols of the mass, while 
but few know or appreciate the beauty and genius of 
an Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman; an Ibsen, a Haupt- 
mann, a Butler Yeats, or a Stephen Phillips. They 
are like solitary stars, far beyond the horizon of 
the multitude. 

Publishers, theatrical managers, and critics ask not 
for the quality inherent in creative art, but will it meet 
with a good sale, will it suit the palate of the people ? 
Alas, this palate is like a dumping ground ; it relishes 
anything that needs no mental mastication. As a re- 


suit, the mediocre, the ordinary, the commonplace 
represents the chief literary output. 

Need I say that in art we are confronted with 
the same sad facts? One has but to inspect our 
parks and thoroughfares to realize the hideousness 
and vulgarity of the art manufacture. Certainly, none 
but a majority taste would tolerate such an outrage 
on art. False in conception and barbarous in execu- 
tion, the statuary that infests American cities has as 
much relation to true art, as a totem to a Michael 
Angelo. Yet that is the only art that succeeds. The 
true artistic genius, who will not cater to accepted 
notions, who exercises originality, and strives to be 
true to life, leads an obscure and wretched existence. 
His work may some day become the fad of the mob, 
but not until his heart's blood had been exhausted; 
not until the pathfinder has ceased to be, and a throng 
of an idealless and visionless mob has done to death 
the heritage of the master. 

It is said that the artist of today cannot create 
because Prometheus-like he is bound to the rock 
of economic necessity.^ TEis^ however, is true of 
art in all ages. Michael Angeb was dependent on 
his patron saint, no less than the sculptor or painter 
of today, except that the art connoisseurs of those 
days were far away from the maddening crowd. They 
felt honored to be permitted to worship at the shrine 
of the master. 

The art protector of our time knows but one cri- 
terion, one value, — the dollar. He is not concerned 
about the quaUty'of afly'gfeat work, but in the quan- 
tity of dollars his purdiase implies. Thus the finan- 


cier in Mirbeau's Les Affaires sont les Aifcdres points 
to some blurred arrangement in colors, sajring "Sec 
how great it is; it cost 50,000 francs." Just like our 
own parvenues. The fabulous figures paid for their 
g^eat art discoveries must make up for the poverty 
of their taste. 

The most unpardonable sin in society is inde- 
pendence of thought. That this should be so terribly 
apparent in a country whose symbol is democracy, is 
very significant of the tremendous power of the 

Wendell Phillips said fifty years ago: "In our 
country of absolute democratic equality, public opin- 
ion is not only omnipotent, it is omnipresent. There 
is no refuge from its tyranny, there i§, op hiding from 
its r^l^' and' The* result is that if you take the old 
Greek laiitei'u aniT'go about to seek among a hun- 
dred, you will not find a single American who has 
not, or who does not fancy at least he has, some- 
thing to gain or lose in his ambition, his social life, 
or business, from the good opinion and the votes of 
those around him. And the consequence is that in- 
stead of being a mass of individuals, each one fear- 
lessly blurting out his own conviction, as a nation 
compared to other nations we are a mass of cowards. 
More than any other people we are afraid of each 
other." Evidently we have not advanced very far 
from the condition that confronted Wendell Phillips. 

Today, as then, public opinion is the omnipresent 
tyrant ; today, as then, the majority represents a mass 
of cowards, willing to accept him who mirrors its 
own soul and mind poverty. That accounts for the 


unprecedented rise of a man like Roosevelt. He em- 
bodies th e very worst element of mob psydiology. A 
politiciarif he knows that tne majonty ' cares little 
for ideals or integrity. What it craves is display. 
It matters not whether that be a dog show, a 
prize fight, the lynching of a "nigger," the rounding 
up of some petty offender, the marriage exposition of 
an heiress, or the acrobatic stunts of an ex-president 
The more hideous the mental contortions, the greater 
the delight and bravos of the mass. Thus, poor in 
ideals and vulgar of soul, Roosevelt continues to 
be the man of the hour. 

On the other hand, m en towering high above su ch 
political py g mies, men of refinement, of culture,"^ of 
ability, are jeered into silence as mollycoddles. It 
is absurd to claim that ours is the era of individualism. 
Ours is merely a more poignant repetition of. the 
phenomenon of all history: every effort foi(Jrogres§, 
for enlightenment, for science, for religious, pohtical, 
and economic liberty, emanates from the minority, 
and not from the mass. Today, as ever, the few 
are misunderstood, hounded, imprisoned, tortured, and 

The principle of brotherhood expounded by the 
j^tator of Nazareth preserved the germ of life, of 
truth and justice, so long as it was the beacon light 
of the few. The moment the majority seized upon 
it, that great prinriplf tKrumr n ihihbn<rth'-tmd' hnr- 
binger of blood and fire, spreading suffering and dis- 
aster. The attack"' on " lire Omnipotence of Rome 
was like a sunrise amid the darkness of the night, 
only so long as it was made by the colossal figures 


of a Hiiss, a Calvin, or a Luther. Yet when the 

mass }^6A in ttie procession against the Catholic 
xnonsteiv-it-waft no less cru e l, -no less bloodthirsty 
than its enemy. Woe to the heretics, to the minority, 
who would not bow to its dicta. After infinite zeal, 
endurance, and sacrifice, the human mind is at last 
free from the religious phantom; the minority has 
gone on in pursuit of new conquests, and the major- 
ity is lagging behind, handicapped by truth grown 
false with age. 

Politically the human race would still be in th^ 
most absolute slavery, were it not for the John Balls, 
the Wat Tylers, the Tells, the innumerable^ jndividual 
giants w ho fought inch by inch against the power 
of kings and tyrants. But for individual pioneers 
the world would have never been shaken to its very 
roots by that tremendous wave, the French Revolu- 
tion. Great events are usually preceeded by appar- 
ently small things. Thus the eloquence and fire of 
Camille Desmoulins was like the trumpet before Jer- 
icho, razing to the ground that emblem of torture, 
of abuse, of horror, the Bastille. 

Always, at every period, the few were the banner 
bearers of aT great "iHea, of liberating effort. Not so 
the mass, the leaden weight- of which does not let 
it move. The truth of this is borne out in Russia 
with greater force than elsewhere. Thousands of 
lives have already been consumed by that bloody 
regime, yef fhe monster on the throne is not appeased. 
How is such a thing possible when ideas, culture, 
literature, when the deepest and finest emotions groan 
under the iron yoke? The majority, that compact, 


iiximobilCi drowsy mass, the Russian peasant, after 
a century of struggle, of sacrifice, of untold misery, 
still believes that the rope which strangles "the man 
with the white hands"* brings luck. 

In the American struggle for liberty, the major- 
ity was no less of a stumbling block. Until this 
very day the ideas of Jefferson, of Patrick Henry, of 
Thomas Paine, are denied and sold by their posterity. 
The mass wants none of them. The greatness and 
courage worshipped in Lincoln have been forgotten 
in the men who created the background for the pan- 
orama of that time. The true patron saints of the 
black men were represented in that handful of fighters 
in Boston, Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Thoreau, 
Margaret Fuller, and Theodore Parker, whose great 
courage and sturdiness culminated in that somber 
giant, John Brown. Their untiring zeal, their elo- 
quence and perseverance undermined the stronghold 
of the Southern lords. Lincoln and his minions fol- 
lowed only when abolition had become a, Practical 
issue, recognized as such -by au. 

About fifty years ago, a meteor-like idea made its 
appearance on the social horizon of the world, an 
idea so far-reaching, so revolutionary, so all-embrac- 
ing as to spread terror in the hearts of tyrants every- 
where. On the other hand, that idea was a harbinger 
of joy, of cheer, oi hope to the millions. The 
pioneers knew the difficulties in their way, they knew 
the opposition, the persecution, the hardships that 
would meet them, but proud and unafraid they started 

'*' The intellectuals. 


on their march onward, ever onward. Now >that idea 
has become a popalar slogan. Almost everyone is 
a Socialist today: the rich man, as well as his poor 
victim; the upholders of farw- and • auth or ity; 'tis well 
as their unfortunate culprits; the freethinker, as well 
as the perpetuator df religious falsehoods; the fash- 
ionable lady, as well as the shirtwaist girl. Why not? 
Now that the truth of fifty years ago has become 
a lie, now that it has been clipped of all its youth- 
ful imagination, and been robbed of its vigor, its 
strength, its revolutionary ideal — ^why not? Now thatQ^^^^ - 
it is no longer a beautiful, vision, but 3.^ "practical, '» . , 
workable scheme^' resting on the wflTof the majority, * ' ' ' 
why not? With the same political cunning and ^f.\'i^ 
shrewdness the mass is petted, pampered, cheated 
daily. Its praise is being sung in many keys: the 
poor majority, the outraged, the abused, the giant 
majority, if only it would follow us. 

Who has not heard this litany before? Who does 
not know this never-varying refrain of all politicians? 
That the mass bleeds, that it is being robbed and 
exploited, I know as well as our vote-baiters. But 
I insist that not the handful of parasites, but the 
mass itself is responsible for this horrible state of 
affairs. It clings to its masters, loves the whip, and 
is the first to cry Crucify! the moment a protesting 
voice is raised against the sacredness of capitalistic 
authority or any other decayed institution. Yet how 
long would authority and private property exist, if 
not for the willingness of the mass to become soldiers, 
policemen, jailers, and hangmen. The Socialist dema- 
gogues know that as well as I, but they maintain 


the myth of the virtues of the majority, because their 
very scheme of life means the perpetuation of power. 
And how could the latter be acquired without num- 
bers? Yes, power, authority, coercion, and depend- 
ence rest on the mass, but never freedom, never the 
free unfoldment of the individual, never the birth of 
a free society. 

Not because I do not feel with the oppressed, 
the disinherited of the earth ; not because I do not 
know the shame, the horror, the indignity of the 
lives the people. lead, do I repudiate the majority as 
a creative force for good. Oh*; ho, noT^ufUCCatfee 
^ I know s6 well that as a compact mass it has never 
stood for justice or equality. It has suppresse3 the 
human voice, subdued the human spirit, chained the 
i human body. As a mass its aim has always been 
'\ to make life uniform, gray, atid monotonous as the 
desert. As a mass it will always be the annihilator of 
individuality, of free initiativie, of originality. I there- 
fore believe with Emerson that "the masses are crude, 
lame, pernicious in their demands and influence, 
and need not to be flattered, but to be schooled. I wish 
not to concede anything to them, but to drill, divide, 
and break them up, and draw individuals out of them. 
Masses! The calamity are the masses. I do not wish 
any mass at all, but honest men only, lovely, sweet, 
' accomplished women only." 

In other words, the, living, --^^tal liull! of social 
anH prnnpt pi^ well-being will beconi c>-a^JXalii3L opIy 
through th e zeal, c oura ge, th e non-.compromi&iag^ de- 
tennlnali Srof i nt ellige nt minorLtjes, and not through 
the mass. 



To ANALYZE the psychology of political violence is 
not only extremely difficulty but also very dangerous. 
If such acts are treated with understanding, one is 
immediately accused of eulogizing them. If, on the 
other hand, human sympathy is expressed with the 
Attenidter,* one risks being considered a possible ac- 
complice. Yet it is only intelligence and s)rmpathy 
that can bring us closer to the source of human suffer- 
ing, and teach us the ultimate way out of it. 

The primitive man, ignorant of natural forces, 
dreaded their approach, hiding from the perils they 
threatened. As man learned to understand Nature's 
phenomena, he realized that though these may destroy 
life and cause great loss, they also bring relief. To 
the earnest student it must be apparent that the 
accumulated forces in our social and economic life, 
culminating in a political act of violence, are similar 
to the terrors of the atmosphere, manifested in storm 
and lightning. 

* A revolutionist committing an act of political violence. 


To thoroughly appreciate the truth of this view, 
one must feel intensely the indignity of our social 
wrongs; one's very being must throb with the pain, 
the sorrow, the despair millions of people are daily 
made to endure. Indeed, unless we have become a 
part of humanity, we cannot even faintly understand 
the just indignation that accumulates in a human 
soul, the burning, surging passion that makes the 
storm inevitable. 

The ignorant mass looks upon the man who makes 
a violent protest against our social and economic in- 
iquities as upon a wild beast, a cruel, heartless 
monster, whose joy it is to destroy life and bathe in 
blood; or at best, as upon an irresponsible lunatic. 
Yet nothing is further from the truth. As a matter 
of fact, those who have studied the character and 
personality of these men, or who have come in close 
contact with them, are agreed that it is their super- 
sensitiveness to the wrong and injustice surrounduiTg 
them which compels them to pay the toll of our social 
crimes. The most noted writers and poets, discu$sing 
the psychology of political offenders, have paid them 
the highest tribute. Could anyone assume that these 
men had advised violence, or even approved of the 
acts? Certainly not. Theirs was the attitude of the 
social student, of the man who knows that beyond 
every violent act there is a vital cause. 

Bjomstjeme Bjomson, in the second part of 
Beyond Human Power, emphasizes the fact that it is 
among the Anarchists that we must look for the 
modem martyrs who pay for their faith with their 
blood, and who welcome death with a smile, because 


they believe, as truly as Christ did, that their martyr- 
dom will redeem humanity. 

Francois Coppee, the French novelist, thus ex- 
presses himself regarding the psychology of the 

"The reading of the details of Vaillant's execution 
left me in a thoughtful mood. I imagined him ex- 
panding his chest under the ropes, marching with finn 
step, stiffening his will, concentrating all his energy, 
and, with eyes fixed upon the knife, hurling finally 
at society his cry of malediction. And, in spite of me, 
another spectacle rose suddenly before my mind. I 
saw a group of men and women pressing against 
each other in the middle of the oblong arena of the 
circus, under the gaze of thousands of eyes, while 
from all the steps of the immense amphitheatre went 
up the terrible cry. Ad leones! and, below, the open- 
ing cages of the wild beasts. 

I did not believe the execution would take place. 
In the first place, no victim had been struck with 
death, and it had long been the custom not to punish 
an abortive crime with the last degree of severity. 
Then, this crime, however terrible in intention, was 
disinterested, bom of an abstract idea. The man's 
past, his abandoned childhood, his life of hardship, 
pleaded also in his favor. In the independent press 
generous voices were raised in his behalf, very 
loud and eloquent. 'A purely literary current of 
opinion* some have said, with no little scorn. It is, 
on the contrary, an honor to the men of art and 
thought to have expressed once more their di$gust ai 
the scaffold.** 


Again Zola, in Germinal and Paris, describes the 
tenderness and kindness, the deep sympathy with hu«^ 
man suffering, of these men who close the chapter of 
their lives with a violent outbreak against our system. 

Last, but not least, the man who probably better 
than anyone else understands the psychology of the 
Attentater is M. Hamon, the author of the brilliant 
work, Une Psychologic du MUitaire Professionel, who 
has arrived at these suggestive conclusions: 

"The positive method confirmed by the rational 
method enables us to establish an ideal type of An- 
archist, whose mentality is the aggregate of common 
psychic characteristics. Every Anarchist partakes 
sufficiently of this ideal type to make it possible to 
differentiate him from other men. The t)rpical 
Anarchist, then, may be defined as follows: A man 
perceptible by the spirit of revolt under one or more 
of its forms, — opposition, investigation, criticism, in- 
novation, — endowed with a strong love of liberty, 
egoistic or individualistic, and possessed of great curi- 
osity, a keen desire to know. These traits are sup- 
plemented by an ardent love of others, a highly 
developed moral sensitiveness, a profound sentiment 
of justice, and imbued with missionary zeal." 

To the above characteristics, says Alvin F. San- 
bom, must be added these sterling qualities: a rare 
love of animals, surpassing sweetness in all the or- 
dinary relations of life, exceptional sobriety of de- 
meanor, frugality and regularity, austerity, even, of 
living, and courage beyond compare.* 

* Paris and the Social Revolution, 


'There is a truism that the man in the street seems 
always to forget, when he b abusing the Anarchists, 
or whatever party happens to be his bete noire for the 
moment, as the cause of some outrage just perpetrated. 
This indisputable fact is that homicidal outrages have, 
from time immemorial, been the reply of goaded and 
desperate classes, and goaded and desperate indi- 
viduals, to wrongs from their fellowmen, which they 
felt to be intolerable. Such acts are the violent recoil 
from violdice, whether aggressive or repressive; they 
are the last desperate struggle of outraged and exas<- 
perated human nature for breathing space and life. 
And their cause lies not in any special conviction, but 
in the depths of that human nature itself. The whole 
course of history, political and social, is strewn with 
evidence of this fact. To go no further, take the 
three most notorious examples of political parties 
goaded into violence during the last fifty years: the 
Mazzinians in Italy, the Fenians in Ireland, and the 
Terrorists in Russia. Were these people Anarchists? 
No. Did they all three even hold the same political 
opinions? No. The Mazzinians were Republicans, 
the Fenians political separatists, the Russians Social 
Democrats or Constitutionalists. But all were driven 
by desperate circumstances into this terrible form of 
revolt. And when we turn from parties to individuals 
who have acted in like manner, we stand appalled by 
the number of human beings goaded and driven by 
sheer desperation into conduct obviously violently op- 
posed to their social instincts. 

Now that Anarchism has become a living force in 
society, such deeds have been sometimes committed 


by Anarchists, as well as by others. For no new 
faith, even the most essentially peaceable and humane 
the mind of man has yet accepted, but at its first 
coming has brought upon earth not peace, but a 
sword; not because of anything vblent or anti-social 
in the doctrine itself; simply because of the ferment 
any new and creative idea excites in men's minds, 
whether they accept or reject it. And a conception of 
Anarchism, which, on one hand, threatens every vested 
interest, and, on the other, holds out a vision of a 
free and noble life to be won by a struggle against 
existing wrongs, is certain to rouse the fiercest oppo- 
sition, and bring the whole repressive force of ancient 
evil into violent contact with the tumultuous outburst 
of a new hope. 

Under miserable conditions of life, any vision of 
the possibility of better things makes the present mis- 
ery more intolerable, and spurs those who suffer to 
the most energetic struggles to improve their lot, and 
if these struggles only immediately result in sharper 
misery, the outcome is sheer desperation. In our 
present society, for instance, an exploited wage 
worker, who catches a glimpse of what work and life 
might and ought to be, finds the toilsome routine and 
the squalor of his existence almost intolerable; and 
even when he has the resolution and courage to con- 
tinue steadily working his best, and waiting until 
new ideas have so permeated society as to pave the 
way for better times, the mere fact that he has such 
ideas and tries to spread them, brings him into diffi- 
culties with his employers. How many thousands 
of Socialists, and above all Anarchists, have lost work 


and even the chance of work, solely On the ground of 
their opinions. It is only the specially gifted crafts- 
man, who, if he be a zealous propagandist, can hope 
to retain permanent employment. And what happens 
to a man with his brain working actively with a 
ferment of new ideas, with a vision before his eyes 
of a new hope dawning for toiling and agonizing men, 
with the knowledge that his suffering and that of his 
fellows in misery is not caused by the cruelty of fate, 
but by the injustice of other human beings, — ^what 
happens to such a man when he sees those dear to 
him starving, when he himself is starved? Some 
natures in such a plight, and those by no means the 
least social or the least sensitive, will become violent, 
and will even feel that their violence is social and 
not anti-social, that in striking when and how they 
can, they are striking, not for themselves, but for 
human nature, outraged and despoiled in their persons 
and in those of their fellow sufferers. And are we, 
who ourselves are not in this horrible predicament, to 
stand by and coldly condemn these piteous victims of 
the Furies and Fates ? Are we to decry as miscreants 
these human^ beings who act with heroic self-devotion, 
sacrificing their lives in protest, where less social and 
less energetic natures would lie down and grovel in 
abject submission to injustice and wrong? Are we 
to join the ignorant and brutal outcry which stig- 
matizes such men as monsters of wickedness, gratu- 
itously running amuck in a harmonious and innocently 
peaceful society ? No ! We hate murder with a hatred 
that may seem absurdly exaggerated to apologists for 
Matabele massacres, to callous acquiescers in hangings 


and bombardments, but we decline in such cases of 
homicide, or attempted homicide, as those of wfaidi 
we are treating, to be guilty of the cruel injustice 
of flinging the whole responsibility of the deed upon 
the immediate perpetrator. The guilt of these homi- 
cides lies upon every man and woman who, inten- 
tionally or by cold indifference, helps to keep up social 
conditions that drive human beings to despair. The 
man who flings his whole life into the attempt, at 
the cost of his own life, to protest against the wrongs 
of his fellow men, is a saint compared to the active 
and passive upholders of cruelty and injustice, even 
if his protest destroy other lives besides his own. 
Let him who is without sin in society cast the first 
stone at such an one."* 

That every act of political violence should now- 
adays be attributed to Anarchists is not at all sur- 
prising. Yet it is a fact known to almost everyone 
familiar with the Anarchist movement that a great 
number of acts, for which Anarchists had to suffer, 
either originated with the capitalist press or were 
instigated, if not directly perpetrated, by the police. 

For a number of years acts of violence had been 
committed in Spain, for which the Anarchists were 
held responsible, hounded like wild beasts, and thrown 
into prison. Later it was disclosed that the per- 
petrators of these acts were not Anarchists, but mem- 
bers of the police department. The scandal became 
so widespread that the conservative Spanish papers 
demanded the apprehension and punishment of the 

*From a pamphlet issued by the Freedom Group of 


gang-leader, Juan Rull, who was subsequently con* 
demned to death and executed. The sensational evi* 
dence, brought to light during the trial, forced Police 
Inspector Momento to exonerate completely the An- 
archists from any connection with the acts committed 
during a long period. This resulted in the dismissal 
of a number of police officials, among them Inspector 
Tressols, who, in revenge, disclosed the fact that be- 
hind the gang of police bomb throwers were others 
of far higher position, who provided them with funds 
and protected them. 

This is one of the many striking examples of 
how Anarchist conspiracies are manufactured. 

That the American police can perjure themselves 
with the same ease, that they are just as merciless, 
just as brutal and cunning as their European col- 
leagues, has been proven on more than one occasion. 
We need only recall the tragedy of the eleventh of 
November, 1887, known as the Haymarket Riot. 

No one who is at all familiar with the case can 
possibly doubt that the Anarchists, judicially murdered 
in Chicago, died as victims of a lying, bloodthirsty 
press and of a cruel police conspiracy. Has hot Judge 
Gary himself said: ''Not because you have caused 
the Haymarket bomb, but because you are Anarchists, 
you are on trial." 

The impartial and thorough analysis by Governor 
Altgeld of that blotch on the American escutcheon 
verified the bruta;l frankness of Judge Gary. It was 
this that induced Altgeld to pardon the three Anar- 
chists, thereby earning the lasting esteem of every 
liberty loving man and woman in the world. 


When we approach the tragedy of September sixth, 
1901, we are confronted by one of the most striking 
examples of how little social theories are responsible 
for an act of political violence. ''Leon Czolgosz, an 
Anarchist, incited to commit the act by Emma Gold- 
man." To be sure, has she not incited violence even 

ft * 

before her birth, and will she not continue to do 
so beyond death? Everything is possible with the 

Today, even, nine years after the tragedy, after 
it was proven a hundred times that Emma Goldman 
had nothing to do with the event, that no evidence 
whatsoever exists to indicate that Czolgosz ever called 
himself an Anarchist, we are confronted with tfie 
same lie, fabricated by the police and perpetuated by 
the press. No living soul ever heard Czolgosz make 
that statement, nor is there a single written word to 
prove that the boy ever breathed the accusation. Noth- 
ing but ignorance and insane hysteria, which have 
never yet been able to solve the simplest problem of 
cause and effect. 

The President of a free Republic killed ! What else 
can be the cause, except that the Attentat er must have 
been insane, or that he was incited to the act. 

A free Republic! How a myth will maintain it- 
self, how it will continue to deceive, to dupe, and 
blind even the comparatively intelligent to its 
monstrous absurdities. A free Republic! And yet 
widiin a little over thirty years a small band of par- 
asites have successfully robbed the American people, 
and trampled upon the fundamental principles, laid 
down by the fathers of this country, guaranteeii^ to 


every man; woman, and child "life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of happiness/' For thirty years they have 
been increasing their wealth and power at the ex- 
pense of the vast mass of workers, thereby enlarging 
the army of the unemployed, the hungry, homeless, 
and friendless portion of humanity, who are tramp- 
ing the country from east to west, from north to 
south, in a vain search for work. For many years 
the home has been left to the care of the little ones, 
while the parents are exhausting their life and strength 
for a mere pittance. For thirty years the sturdy 
sons of America have been sacrificed on the battle- 
field of industrial war, and the daughters outraged 
in corrupt factory surroundings. For long and weary 
years this process of undermining the nation's health, 
vigor, and pridcj without much protest from the dis- 
inherited and oppressed, has been going on. Mad- 
dened by success and victory, the money powers of 
this "free land of ours" became more and more auda- 
cious in their heartless, cruel efforts to compete with 
the rotten and decayed European tyrannies for su- 
premacy of power. 

In vain did a lying press repudiate Leon Czolgosz 
as a foreigner. The boy was a product of our own 
free American soil, that lulled him to sleep with, 

My country, 'tis of thee, 
Sweet land of liberty. 

Who can tell how many times this American child 
had gloried in the celebration of the Fourth of July, 
or of Decoration Day, when he faithfully honored 
the Nation's dead? Who knows but that he, too, 
was willing to "fight for his country and die for her 


liberty/' until it dawned upon him that those he be- 
longed to have no country, because they hare been 
robbed of all that they have produced ; until he real- 
ized that the liberty and independence of his youthful 
dreams were but a farce. Poor Leon Czolgosz, your 
crime consisted of too sensitive a social consciousness. 
Unlike your idealless and brainless American brothers, 
your ideals soared above the belly and the bank ac- 
count. No wonder you impressed the one human 
being among all the infuriated mob at your trial — 
a newspaper woman — as a visionary, totally oblivious 
to your surroundings. Your large, dreamy eyes must 
have beheld a new and glorious dawn. 

Now, to a recent instance of police-manufactured 
Anarchist plots. In that bloodstained city, Chicago, 
the life of Qiief of Police Shippy was attempted by 
a young man named Averbuch. Immediately the cry 
was sent to the four comers of the world that Aver- 
buch was an Anarchist, and that the Anarchists 
were responsible for the act. Everyone who was 
at all known to entertain Anarchist ideas was closely 
watched, a number of people arrested, the library of 
an Anarchist group confiscated, and all meetings made 
impossible. It goes without saying that, as on various 
previous occasions, I must needs be held responsible 
for the act. Evidently the American police credit me 
with occult powers. I did not know Averbuch; in 
fact, had never before heard his name, and the only 
way I could have possibly "conspired" with him was 
in my astral body. But, then, the police are not 
concerned with logic or justice. What they seek is 
a target, to mask Aeir absolute ignorance of the cause. 


of the psychology of a political act. Was Averbuch 
an Anarchist? There is no positive proof of it He 
had been but three months in the country, did not 
know the language, and, as far as I could ascertain, 
was quite unknown to the Anarchists of Chicago. 

What led to his act? Averbuch, like most young 
Russian immigrants, undoubtedly believed in the 
mythical liberty of America. He received his first 
baptism by the policeman's club during the brutal 
dispersement of the unemployed parade. He fur- 
ther experienced American quality and opportunity' 
in the vain efforts to find an economic master. In 
short, a three months' sojourn in the glorious land 
brought him face to face with the fact that the dis- 
inherited are in the same position the world over. 
In his native land he probably learned that necessity 
knows no law — ^there was no difference between a 
Russian and an American policeman. 

The question to the intelligent social student is 
not whether the acts of Czolgosz or Averbuch were 
practical, any more than whether the thunderstorm is 
practical. The thing that will inevitably impress it- 
self on the lliinking and feeling man and woman is 
that the sight of brutal clubbing of innocent victims 
in a so-called free Republic, and the degrading, soul- 
destroying economic struggle, furnish the spark that 
kindles the dynamic force in the overwrought, outraged 
souls of men like Czolgosz or Averbuch. No amotmt 
of persecution, of hounding, of repression, can stay 
this social phenomenon. 

But, it is often asked, have not acknowledged 
Anarchists committed acts of violence ? Certainly they 


have, always however ready to shoulder the responsi- 
bility. My contention is that they were impelled, not 
by the teachings of Anarchism, but by the tremendous 
pressure of conditions, making life unbearable to 
their sensitive natures. Obviously, Anarchism, or any 
other social theory, making man a conscious social 
unit, will act as a leaven for rebellion. This is not 
a mere assertion, but a fact verified by all experience. 
A close examination of the circumstances bearing 
upon this question will further clarify my position. 

Let us consider some of the most important 
Anarchist acts within the last two decades. Strange 
as it may seem, one of the most significant deeds 
of political violence occurred here in America, in con- 
nection with the Homestead strike of 1892. 

During that memorable time the Carnegie Steel 
Company organized a conspiracy to crush the Amal- 
gamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. 
Henry Qay Frick, then Chairman of the Company, 
was intrusted with that democratic task. He lost no 
time in carrying out the policy of breaking the Union, 
the policy which he had so successfully practiced dur- 
ing his reign of terror in the coke regions. Secretly, 
and while peace negotiations were being purposely 
prolonged, Frick supervised the military preparations, 
the fortification of the Homestead Steel Works, the 
erection of a high board fence, cappe3 with barbed 
wire and provided with loopholes-fer -sharpshooters. 
And then, in the dead of night, he attempted to 
smuggle his army of hired Pinkerton thugs into 
Homestead, which act precipitated the terrible cami^ 
of the steel workers. Not content with the death of 


eleven victims, killed in the Pinkerton skirmish, Henry 
Clay Frick, good Christian and free American, 
straightway began the hounding down of the helpless 
wives and orphans, by ordering them out of the 
wretched Company houses. 

The whole country was aroused over these inhu- 
man outrages. Hundreds of voices were raised in 
protest, calling on Frick to desist, not to go too far. 
Yes, hundreds of people protested, — ^as one objects 
to annoying flies. Only one there was who actively 
responded to the outrage at Homestead, — ^Alexander 
Berkman. Yes, he was an Anarchist. He gloried in 
that fact, because it was the only force that made 
the discord between his spiritual longing and the world 
without at all bearable. Yet not Anarchism, as such, 
but the brutal slaughter of the eleven steel workers 
was the urge for Alexander Berkman's act, his at- 
tempt on the life of Henry Qay Frick. 

The record of European acts of political violence 
affords numerous and striking instances of the in- 
fluence of environment upon sensitive human beings. 

The court speech of Vaillant, who,lfl in 1894, ex- 
ploded a bomb in the Paris Chamber of Deputies, 
strikes the true keynote of the psychology of such 

"Gentlemen, in a few minutes you are to deal 
your blow, but in receiving your verdict I shall have 
at least the satisfaction of having wounded the existing 
society, that cursed society in which one may see a 
single man spending, uselessly, enough to feed thou- 
sands of families; an infamous society which permits 
a few individuals to monopolize all the social wealth, 


while there are hundreds of thousands of unfortunates 
who have not even the bread that is not refused to 
dogs, and while entire families are committing suidde 
for want of the necessities of life. 

Ah^ gentlemen, if the governing classes could go 
down among the unfortunates! But no, they prefer 
to remain deaf to their appeals. It seems that a 
fatality impels them, like the royalty of the eighteenth 
century, toward the precipice which will engulf them, 
for woe be to those who remain deaf to the cries 
of the starving, woe to those who, believing them- 
selves of superior essence, assume the right to ex- 
ploit those beneath them! There comes a time when 
the people no longer reason; they rise like a hurri- 
cane, and pass away like a torrent. Then we see 
bleeding heads impaled on pikes. 

.^nong the exploited, gentlemen, there are two 
classes of individuals: Those of one dass, not real- 
izing what they are and what they might be, take 
life as it comes, believe that they are bom to be 
slaves, and content themselves with the little that 
is given them in exchange for their labor. But there 
are others, on the contrary, who think, who study, 
and who, looking about them, discover social iniquities. 
Is it thdr fault if they see dearly and suffer at 
seeing others suffer? Then they throw themsdves 
into the struggle, and make themselves the bearers 
of the popular claims. 

Gentlemen, I am one of these last. Wherever I 
have gone, I have seen unfortunates bent beneath the 
yoke of eapital. Everywhere I have seen the same 
wounds causing tears of blood to flow, even in die 


remoter parts of the inhabited districts of South 
America, where I had the right to believe that he 
who was weary of the pains of civilization might 
rest in the shade of the palm trees and there study 
nature. Well, there even, more than elsewhere, I have 
seen capital come, like a vampire, to suck the last 
drop of blood of the tmfortunate pariahs. 

Then I came back to France, where it was re- 
served for me to see my family suffer atrociously. 
This was the last drop in the cup of my sorrow. 
Tired of leading this life of suffering and cowardice, 
I carried &is bomb to those yfho are primarily re- 
sponsible for social sufferings. 

I am reproached with the wounds of those who 
were hit by my projectiles. Permit me to point out 
in passing that, if the bourgeois had not massacred 
or caused massacres during the Revolution, it is prob- 
able that they would still be under the yoke of the 
nobility. On the other hand, figure up the dead 
and wounded of Tonquin, Madagascar, Dahomey, add- 
ing thereto the thousands, yes, millions of unfortu- 
nates who die in the factories, the mines, and wher- 
ever the grinding power of capital is felt. Add also 
those who die of hunger, and all this with the assent 
of our Deputies. Besides all this, of how little weight 
are the reproaches now brought against me I 

It is true that one does not efface the other; 
but, after all, are we not acting on the defensive 
when we respond to the blows which we receive 
from above? I know very well that I shall be told 
that I ought to have coc^ned myself to speech for 
the vindication of the people's claims. But what 


can you expect! It takes a loud voice to make the 
deaf hear. Too long have they answered our voices 
by imprisonment, the rope, rifle volleys. Make no 
mistake; the explosion of my bomb is not only the 
' cry of the rebel Vaillant, but the cry of an entire 
< class which vindicates its rights, and which will soon 
;add acts to words. For, be sure of it, in vain will 
they pass laws. The ideas of the thinkers will not 
.halt; just as, in the last century, all the govern- 
mental forces could not prevent the Diderots and the 
Voltaires from spreading emancipating ideas among 
the people, so all the existing governmental forces 
will not prevent the Reclus, the Darwins, the Spencers, 
the Ibsens, the Mirabeaus, from spreading the ideas 
of justice and liberty which will annihilate the preju- 
dices that hold the mass in ignorance. And these 
ideas, welcomed by the unfortunate, will flower in acts 
of revolt as they have done in me, until the day 
when the disappearance of authority shall permit all 
men to organize freely according to their choice, when 
we shall each be able to enjoy the product of his 
labor, and when those moral maladies called prejudices 
shall vanish, permitting human beings to live in har- 
mony, having no other desire than to study the sciences 
and love their fellows. 

I conclude, gentlemen, by saying that a society in 
which one sees such social inequalities as we see all 
about us, in which we see every day suicides caused 
by poverty, prostitution flaring at every street comer, 
— 2i society whose principal monuments are barracks 
and prisons, — such a society must be transformed as 
soon as possible, on pain of being eliminated, and 


that speedily, from the human race. Hail to him 
who labors, by no matter what means, for this trans- 
formation! It is this idea that has guided me in 
my duel with authority, but as in this duel I have 
only wounded my adversary, it is now its turn to 
strike me. 

Now, gentlemen, to me it matters little what pen- 
alty you may inflict, for, looking at this assembly 
with the eyes of reason, I can not help smiling to 
see you, atoms lost in matter, and reasoning only 
because you possess a prolongation of the spinal 
marrow, assume the right to judge one of your 

Ah ! gentlemen, how little a thing is your assembly 
and your verdict in the history of humanity; and 
htmian history, in its turn, is likewise a very little 
thing in the whirlwind which bears it through im- 
mensity, and which is destined to disappear, or at least 
to be transformed, in order to begin again the same 
history and the same facts, a veritably perpetual play 
of cosmic forces renewing and transferring themselves 

Will anyone say that Vaillant was an ignorant, 
vicious man, or a lunatic? Was not his mind singu- 
larly clear, anal)rtic? No wonder that the best in- 
tellectual forces of France spoke in his behalf, and 
signed the petition to President Camot, asking him 
to commute Vaillant's death sentence. 

Camot would listen to no entreaty; he insisted 
on more than a pound of flesh, he wanted Vaillant's 
life, and then — ^the inevitable happened: President 


Camot was killed. On the handle of the stiletto 
used by the Attentdter was engraved, significantly, 


Santa Caserio was an Anarchist. He could have 
gotten away, saved himself; but he remained, he 
stood the consequences. 

His reasons for the act are set forth in so simple, 
dignified, and childlike manner that one is reminded 
of the touching tribute paid Caserio by his teacher 
of the little village school, Ada N^^ri, the Italian 
poet, who spoke of him as a sweet, tender plant, 
of too fine and sensitive texture to stand the cruel 
strain of the world. 

"Gentlemen of the Jury! I do not propose to 
make a defense, but only an explanation of my deed. 

Since my early youth I began to learn that present 
society is badly organized, so badly that every day 
many wretched men commit suicide, leaving women 
and children in the most terrible distress. Workers, 
by thousands, seek for work and can not find it. 
Poor families beg for food and shiver with cold; 
they suffer the greatest misery; the little ones ask 
their miserable mothers for food, and the mothers can 
not give them, because they have nothing. The few 
things which the home contained have already been 
sold or pawned. All they can do is beg alms; often 
they are arrested as vagabonds. 

I went away from my native place because I was 
frequently moved to tears at seeing little girls of 
eight or ten years obliged to work fifteen hours a 
day for the paltry pay of twenty centimes. Young 


women of eighteen or twenty also work fifteen^hours 
daily, for a mockery of remmieration. And that 
happens not only to my fellow countrymen, but to 
all the workers, who sweat the whole day long for a 
crust of bread, while their labor produces wealth in 
abundance. The workers are obliged to live under 
the most wretched conditions^ and their food con- 
sists of a little bread, a few spoonfuls of rice, and 
water; so by the time they are thirty or forty years 
old, they are exhausted, and go to die in the hospitals. 
Besides, in consequence of bad food and overwork, 
these unhappy creatures are, by hundreds, devoured 
by pellagra — 2l disease that, in my country, attacks, 
as the physicians say, those who are badly fed and 
lead a life of toil and privation. 

I have observed that there are a great many people 
who are hungry, and many children who suffer, whilst 
bread and clothes abound in the towns. I saw many 
and large shops full of clothing and woolen stuffs, 
and I also saw warehouses full of wheat and Indian 
com, suitable for those who are in want. And, on 
the other hand, I saw thousands of people who do 
not work, who produce nothing and live on the labor 
of others; who spend every day thousands of francs 
for their amusement; who debauch the daughters of 
the workers; who own dwellings of forty or fifty 
rooms; twenty or thirty horses, many servants; in 
a word, all the pleasures of life. 

I believed in God; but when I saw so great an 
inequality between men, I acknowledged that it was 
not God who created man, but man who created 
God. And I discovered that those who want their 


property to be respected, have an interest in preach- 
ing the existence of paradise and hell, and in keeping 
the people in ignorance. 

Not long ago, Vaillant threw a bomb in the 
Chamber of Deputies, to protest against the present 
system of society. He killed no one, only wounded 
some persons; yet bourgeois justice sentenced him 
to death. And not satisfied with the condemnation 
of the guilty man, they began to pursue the Anarchists, 
and arrest not only those who had known Vaillant, 
but even those who had merely been present at any 
Anarchist lecture. 

The government did not think of their wives and 
children. It did not consider that the men kept m 
prison were not the only ones who suffered, and 
that their little ones cried for bread. Bourgeois jus- 
tice did not trouble itself about these innocent ones, 
who do not yet know what society is. It is no 
fault of theirs that their fathers are in prison; they 
only want to eat. 

The government went on searching private houses, 
opening private letters, forbidding lectures and meet- 
ings, and practicing the most infamous oppressions 
against us. Even now, hundreds of Anarchists are 
arrested for having written an article in a newspaper, 
or for having expressed an opinion in public. 

Gentlemen of the Jury, you are representatives of 
bourgeois society. If you want my head, take it; 
but do not believe that in so doing you will stop 
the Anarchist propaganda. Take care, for men reap 
what they have sown." 

During a religious procession in 1896, at Barcelona, 


a bomb was thrown. Immediately three hundred men 
and women were arrested. Some were Anarchists, ,^.v*^ 
but the majority were trade unionists and Socialists. 
They were thrown into that terrible bastille, Mont- 
juich, and subjected to most horrible tortures. After 
a number had been killed, or had gone insane, their 
cases were taken up by the liberal press of Europe, 
resulting in the release of a few survivors. 

The man primarily responsible for this revival of 
the Inquisition was Canovas del Castillo, Prime Min- 
ister of Spain. It was he who ordered the torturing 
of the victims, their flesh burned, their bones crushed, 
their tongues cut out. Practiced in the art of brutality 
during his regime in Cuba, Canovas remained abso- 
lutely deaf to the appeals and protests of the awakened 
civilized conscience. 

In 1897 Canovas del Castillo was shot to death 
by a young Italian, Angiolillo. The latter was an 
editor in his native land, and his bold utterances soon 
attracted the attention of the authorities. Persecu- 
tion began, and Angiolillo fled from Italy to Spain, 
thence to France and Belgium, finally settling in 
England. While there he found employment as a 
compositor, and immediately became the friend of all 
his colleagues. One of the latter thus described 
Angiolillo: "His appearance suggested the journalist, 
rather than the disciple of Guttenberg. His delicate 
bands, moreover, betrayed the fact that he had not 
grown up at the 'case.' With his handsome frank 
face, his soft dark hair, his alert expression, he looked 
the very type of the vivacious Southerner. Angiolillo 
spoke Italian, Spanish, and French, but no English; 


the little Frendi I knew was not sufficient to carry 
on a prolonged conversation. However, Angiolillo 
soon bcg^n to acquire the English idiom; he learned 
rapidly, playfully, and it was not long until he be- 
came very popular with his fellow compositors. His 
distinguished and yet modest manner, and his consid- 
eration towards his colleagues, won him the hearts 
of all the boys." 

Angiolillo soon became familiar with the detailed 
accounts in the press. He read of the great wave 
of human sympathy with the helpless victims at 
Montjuich. On Trafalgar Square he saw with his 
own eyes the results of those atrocities, when the few 
Spaniards, who escaped Castillo's clutches, came to 
seek asylum in England. There, at the great meet- 
ing, these men opened their shirts and showed the 
horrible scars of burned flesh. Angiolillo saw, and 
the effect surpassed a thousand theories; the impetus 
was beyond words, beyond arguments, beyond him- 
self even. 

Sefior Antonio Canovas del Castillo, Prime Min- 
ister of Spain, sojourned at Santa Agueda. As usual 
in such cases, all strangers were kept away from his 
exalted presence. One exception was made, how- 
ever, in the case of a distinguished looking, elegantly 
dressed Italian — the representative, it was understood, 
of an important joui^nal. The distinguished gentle- 
man was — ^Angiolillo. 

Seiior Canovas, about to leave his house, stepped 
on the veranda. Suddenly Angiolillo confronted bdm. 
A shot rang out, and Canovas was a corpse. 

The wife of the Prime Minister rushed upon the 


scene. ^'Murderer! Murderer T she cried, pointitig 
at Angiolillo. The latter bowed. 'Tardoo, Madame/' 
he said, ''I respect you as a lady, but I r^^t that 
you were the wife of that man." 

Calmly Angiolillo faced death. Death in its most 
terrible form — for the man whose soul was as a child's. 

He was garrotted. His body lay, sun-kissed, till 
the day hid in twilight. And the people came, and 
pointing the finger of terror and fear, they said: 
"There — ^the criminal — the cruel murderer." 

How stupid, how cruel is ignorance f It misunder- 
stands always, condemns always. 

A remarkable parallel to the case of Angiolillo is to 
be found in the act of Gaetano Bresci, whose AttefUat 
upon King Umberto made an American city famous. 

Bresci came to this country, this land of oppor- 
tunity, where one has but to try to meet with golden 
success. Yes, he too would try to succeed. He would 
work hard and faithfully. Work had no terrors for 
him, if it would only help him to independence, man- 
hood, self-respect. 

Thus full of hope and enthusiasm he settled in 
Paterson, New Jersey, and there found a lucrative 
job at six dollars per week in one of the weaving 
mills of the town. Six whole dollars per week was, 
no doubt, a fortune for Italy, but not enough to 
breathe on in the new country. He loved his little 
home. He was a good husband and devoted father to 
his ba/mbina^ Bianca, whom he adored. He worked 
and worked for a number of 3^ears. He actually man- 
aged to save one hundred dollars out of his six dollars 
per week. 


Bresd had an ideal. Foolish, I know, for a work- 
ingman to have an ideal — ^the Anarchist paper pub- 
lished in Paterson, La Questione Sociale. 

Every week, though tired from work, he would 
help to set up the paper. Until late hours he v^ould 
assist, and when the little pioneer had exhausted ail 
resources and his comrades were in despair, Bresd 
brought cheer and hope, one hundred dollars, the 
entire savings of years. That would keep the paper 

In his native land people were starving. The crops 
had been poor, and the peasants saw themselves face 
to face with famine. They appealed to thdr good 
King Umberto; he would help. And he did. The 
wives of the peasants who had gone to the palace of 
the King, held up in mute silence their emaciated 
infants. Surely that would move him. And then 
the soldiers fired and killed those poor fools. 

Bresci, at work in the weaving mill at Paterson, 
read of the horrible massacre. His mental eye beheld 
the defenceless women and innocent infants of his 
native land, slaughtered right before the good King. 
His soul recoiled in horror. At night he heard the 
groans of the wounded. Some may have been his 
comrades, his own flesh. Why, why these foul mur- 

The little meeting of the Italian Anarchist group 
in Paterson ended almost in a fight. Bresci had de- 
manded his hundred dollars. His comrades b^^ged, 
implored him to give them a respite. The paper 
would go down if they were to return him his loan. 
But Bresci insisted on its return. 


How cruel and stupid is ignorance. Bresd got the 
money, but lost the good will, the confidence of his 
comrades. They would have nothing more to do with 
one whose greed was greater than his ideals. 

On the twenty-ninth of July, 1900, King Umberto 
was shot at Monzo. The young Italian weaver of 
Paterson, Gaetano Bresci, had taken the life of the 
good Kling. 

Paterson was placed under police surveillance, 
everyone known as an Anarchist hounded and per- 
secuted, and the act of Bresci ascribed to the teachings 
of Anarchism. As if the teachings of Anarchism in 
its extremest fornTcouIS "equal tii^ ioiceLoflliose slain 
womeii arid 'infants, who had pilcrimed to the King 
for aid. As if any spoken word, ever so eloquent, 
coui3 buni"irif6"'arirtlman*"s6u^^ such white heat 

as the life blood trickling drop by drop from those 
dying forms. The ordinary man is rarely moved either 
by word or deed; and those whose social kinship is 
the greatest living force need no appeal to respond — 
even as does steel to the magnet — ^to the wrongs and 
horrors of society. 

If a social theory is a strong factor inducing acts 
of political violence, how are we to account for the 
recent violent outbreaks in India, where Anarchism 
has hardly been bom. More than any other old phi- 
losophies, Hindu teachings have exalted passive re- 
sistance, the drifting of life, the Nirvana, as the high- 
est spiritual ideal. Yet the social unrest in India is 
daily growing, and has only recently resulted in an 
act of political violence, the killing of Sir Curzon 
Wyllie by the Hindu, Madar Sol Dhingra. 


li such a phenomenon can occur in a country so- 
cially and individually permeated for centuries with 
the spirit of passivity, can one question the tremendous, 
revolutionizing effect xui human character exerted by 
great social iniquities? Can one doubt the logic, the 
justice of these words : 

"Repression, tyranny, and indiscriminate punish- 
ment of innocent men have been the watchwords of 
the government of the alien domination in India ever 
since we began the commercial boycott of English 
goods. The tiger qualities of the British are much 
in evidence now in India. They think that by the 
strength of the sword they will keep down India! It 
is this arrogance that has brought about the bomb, 
and the more they tyrannize over a helpless and un- 
armed people, the more terrorism will grow. We may 
deprecate terrorism as outlandish and foreign to our 
culture, but it is inevitable as long as this tyranny 
continues, for it is not the terrorists that are to be 
blamed, but the tyrants who are responsible for it. 
It is the only resource for a helpless and unarmed 
people when brought to the verge of despair. It is 
never criminal on their part. The crime lies with the 
tyrant." * 

Even conservative scientists are beginning to realize 
that heredity is not the sole factor moulding human 
character. Qimate, food, occupation ; nay, color, light, 
and sound must be considered in the study of human 

If that be true, how much more correct is the con- 

♦ The Free Hindustan. 


tention tiiat great social abuses will and must influence 
different minds and temperaments in a different way. 
And how utterly fallacious the stereotyped notion that 
the teachings of Anarchism, or certain exponents of 
these teachings, are responsible for the acts of political 

Anarchism, more than any other social theory, 
values human TireaB'dveTKihggr All Anarchists agree 
with Tolstoy in this fundamental truth : if the produc- 
tion of any commodity necessitates the sacrifice of 
human life, society should do without that commodity, 
but it can not do without that life. That, however, 
nowise indicates that Anarchism teaches submission. 
How can it, when it knows that all suffering, all 
misery, all ills, result from the evil of submission? 

Has not some American ancestor said, many years 
ago, that resistance to tyranny is obedience to God? 
And he was not an Anarchist even. I would say that 
resistance to tyranny is man's highest ideal. So long 
as t^^iiiy exiyty, In whale vei form, -man's deepest 
aspiration must resist it as inevitably as man must 

Compared with the wholesale violence of capital 
and government, political acts of violence are but a 
drop in the ocean. That so few resist is the strongest 
proof how terribe must be the conflict between their 
souls and unbearable social iniquities. 

High strung, like a violin string, they weep and 
moan for life, so relentless, so cruel, so terribly in- 
human. In a desperate moment the string breaks. 


Untuned ears hear nothing but discord. But those 
who feel the agonized cry understand its harmony; 
they hear in it the fulfilhnent of the most compelling 
moment of human nature. 

Such is the psychology of political violence. 




In 1849, Feodor Dostoyevsky wrote on the wall of 
his prison cell the following story of The Priest and 
the Devil: 

"'Hello, you little fat father!' the devil said to 
the priest. 'What made you lie so to those poor, 
misled people? What tortures of hell did you depict? 
Don't you know they are already suffering the tor- 
tures of hell in their earthly lives? Don't you know 
that you and the authorities of the State are my rep- 
resentatives on earth? It is you that make them 
suffer the pains of hell with which you threaten them. 
Don't you know this? Well, then, come with me!' 

The devil grabbed the priest by the collar, lifted 
him high in the air, and carried him to a factory, 
to an iron foundry. He saw the workmen there 
running and hurrying to and fro, and toiling in the 
scorching heat. Very soon the thick, heavy air and 
the heat are too much for the priest. With tears 
in his eyes, he pleads with the devil : 'Let me go ! Let 
me leave this hell!' 

'Oh, my dear friend, I must ishow you many more 


places/ The devil gets hold of him again and drags 
him off to a farm. There he sees workmen threshing 
the grain. The dust and heat are insufferable. The 
overseer carries a knout, and unmercifully beats any- 
one who falls to the ground overcome by hard toil 
or hunger. 

Next the priest is taken to the huts where these 
same workers live with their families — dirty, cold, 
smoky, ill smelling holes. The devil grins. He points 
out the poverty and hardships which are at home 

'Well, isn't this enough?' he asks. And it seems 
as if even he, the devil, pities the people. The pious 
servant of God can hardly bear it. With uplifted 
hands he begs : 'Let me go away from here. Yes, 
yes! This is hell on earth!' 

'Well, then, you see. And you still promise them 
another hell. You tonnent them, torture them to 
death mentally when they are already all but dead 
physically! Come on! I will show you one more 
hell — one more, the very worst.' 

He took him to a prison and showed him a 
dungeon, with its foul air and the many human forms, 
robbed of all health and energy, lying on the floor, 
covered with vermin that were devouring their poor, 
naked, emaciated bodies. . 

'Take off your silken clothes,' said the devil to 
the priest, 'put on your ankles heavy chains such as 
these unfortunates wear; lie down on the cold and 
filthy floor — and then talk to them about a hdl that 
still awaits them !' 

'No, nol' answered the priest, 'I cannot think 


of anything more dreadful than this. I entreat you, 
let me go away from here I' 

'Yes, this is hell. There can be no worse hell 
than this. Did you not know it? Did you not know 
that these men and women whom you are frighten- 
ing with the picture of a hell hereafter — did you 
not know that they are in hell right here, before 
they die?* " 

This was written fifty years ago in dark Russia, 
on the wall of one of the most horrible prisons. 
Yet who can deny that the same applies with equal 
force to the present time, even to American prisons? 

With all our boasted reforms, our great social 
changes, and our far-reaching discoveries, human 
beings continue to be sent to the worst of hells, 
wherein they are outraged, degraded, and tortured, 
that society may be "protected" from the phantoms of 
its own making. 

Prison, a social protection? What monstrous 
mind ever conceived such an idea? Just as well say 
that health can be promoted by a widespread con- 

After eighteen months of horror in an English 
prison, Oscar Wilde gave to the world his great 
masterpiece. The Ballad of Reading Goal: 

The vilest deeds, like poison weeds, 

Bloom well in prison air; 
It is only what is good in Man 

That wastes and withers there. 
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate, 

And the Warder is Despair. 


. Society goes on perpetuating this poisonous air, 
not realizing that out of it can come naught but the 
most poisonous results. 

We are spending at the present $3,500,000 per day, 
$1,000,095,000 per year, to maintain prison institu- 
tions, and that in a democratic country, — 3, sum almost 
as large as the combined output of wheat, valued at 
$750,000,000, and the output of coal, valued at $350,- 
000,000. Professor Bushnell of Washington, D. C, 
estimates the cost of prisons at $6,000,000,000 an- 
nually, and Dr. G. Frank Lydston, an eminent Amer- 
ican writer on crime, gives $5,000,000,000 annually 
as a reasonable figure. Such unheard of expenditure 
for the purpose of maintaining vast armies of human 
beings caged up like wild beasts I"*" 

Yet crimes are on the increase. Thus we learn 
that in America there are four and a half times as 
many crimes to every million population today as 
there were twenty years ago. 

The most horrible aspect is that our national 
crime is murder, not robbery, embezzlement, or rape, 
as in the South. London is five times as large as 
Chicago, yet there are one hundred and eighteen 
murders annually in the latter city, while only twenty 
in London. Nor is Qiicago the leading city in crime, 
since it is only seventh on the list, which is headed 
by four Southern cities, and San Francisco and Los 
Angeles. In view of such a terrible condition of 
affairs, it seems ridiculous to prate of the protection 
society derives from its prisons. 

* Crime and Criminals. W. C Owen. 


The average mind is slow in grasping a truth, 
but when the most thoroughly organized, centralized 
institution, maintained at an excessive national ex- 
pense, has proven a complete social failure, the dullest 
must begin to question its right to exist. The time 
is past when we can be content with our social fabric 
merely because it is "ordained by divine right," or by 
the majesty of the law. 

The widespread prison investigations, agitation, 
and education during the last few years are conclusive 
proof that men are learning to dig deep into the very 
bottom of society, down to the causes of the terrible 
discrepancy between social and individual life. 

Why, then, are prisons a social crime and a failure? 
To answer this vital question it behooves us to seek 
the nature and cause of crimes, the methods employed 
in coping with them, and the effects these methods 
produce in ridding society of the curse and horror 
of crimes. 

First, as to the nature of crime: 

Havelock Ellis divides crime into four phases, the 
political, the passional, the insane, and the occasional. 
He says that the political criminal is the victim of an 
attempt of a more or less despotic government to 
preserve its own stability. He is not necessarily guilty 
of an unsocial offense; he simply tries to overturn a 
certain political otder which may itself be anti-social. 
This truth is recognized all over the world, except in 
America where the foolish notion still prevails that 
in a Democracy there is no place for political criminals. 
Yet John Brown was a political criminal ; so were the 
Chicago Anarchists ; so is every striker. Consequently, 


says Havelock Ellis, the political criminal of our time 
or place may be the hero, martyr, saint of another age. 
Lombroso calls the political criminal the true pre- 
cursor of the progressive movement of humanity. 

"The criminal by passion is usually a man of 
wholesome birth and honest life, who under the stress 
of some great, unmerited wrong has wrought justice 
for himself."* 

Mr. Hugh C. Weir, in The Menace of the Police, 
cites the case of Jim Flaherty, a criminal by passion, 
who, instead of being saved by society, is turned into 
a drunkard and a recidivist, with a ruined and poverty- 
stricken family as the result. 

A more pathetic type is Archie, the victim in 
Brand Whitlock's novel. The Turn of the Balance^ the 
greatest American expose of crime in the making. 
Archie, even more than Flaherty, was driven to crime 
and death by the cruel inhumanity of his sur- 
roundings, and by the unscrupulous hounding of the 
machinery of the law. Archie and Flaherty are but 
the ts^pes of many thousands, demonstrating how the 
legal aspects of crime, and the methods of dealing 
with it, help to create the disease which is undermin- 
ing our entire social life. 

"The insane criminal really can no more be con- 
sidered a criminal than a child, since he is mentally 
in the same condition as an infant or an animal." * 

The law already recognizes that, but only in rare 
cases of a very flagrant nature, or when the culprit's 

* The Criminal, Havelock Ellis. 


wealth permits the luxury of criminal insanity. It 
has become quite fashionable to be the victim of 
paranoia. But on the whole the "sovereignty of jus- 
tice" still continues to punish criminally insane with 
the whole severity of its power. Thus Mr. Ellis quotes 
from Dr. Richter's statistics showing that in Germany, 
one hundred and six madmen, out of one hundred and 
forty-four criminal insane, were condemned to severe 

The occasional criminal "represents by far the 
largest class of our prison population, hence is the 
greatest menace to social well-being." What is the 
cause that compels a vast army of the human family 
to take to crime, to prefer the hideous life within 
prison walls to the life outside? Certainly that cause 
must be an iron master, who leaves its victims no 
avenue of escape, for the most depraved human being 
loves liberty. 

This terrific force is conditioned in our cruel social 
and economic arrangement. I do not mean to deny 
the biologic, physiologic, or psychologic factors in 
creating crime; but there is hardly an advanced crimi- 
nologist who will not concede that the social and 
economic influences are the most relentless, the most 
poisonous germs of crime. Granted even that there 
are innate criminal tendencies, it is none the less true 
that these, tendencies find rich nutrition in our social 

There is close relation, says Havelock Ellis, be- 
tween crimes against the person and the price of alco- 
hol, between crimes against property and the price o! 
wheat He quotes Quetelet and Lacassagne, the 


former looking upon society as the preparer of crimen 
and the criminals as instruments that execute them. 
The latter finds that "the social environment is the 
cultivation medium of criminality ; that the criminal is 
the microbe, an element which only becomes important 
when it finds the medium which causes it to ferment; 
every society has the criminals it deserves" * 

The most "prosperous" industrial period makes it 
impossible for the worker to earn enough to keep up 
health and vigor. And as prosperity is, at best, an im- 
aginary condition, thousands of people are constantly 
added to the host of the unemployed. From East to 
West, from South to North, this vast army tramps in 
search of work or food, and all they find is the work- 
house or the slums. Those who have a spark of self- 
respect left, prefer open defiance, prefer crime to the 
emaciated, degraded position of poverty. 

Edward Carpenter estimates that five-sixths of in- 
dictable crimes consist in some violation of property 
rights; but that is too low a figure. A thorough inves- 
tigation would prove that nine crimes out of ten could 
be traced, directly or indirectly, to our economic and 
social iniquities, to our system of remorseless exploita- 
tion and robbery. There is no criminal so stupid but 
recognizes this terrible fact, though he may not be 
able to account for it. 

A collection of criminal philosophy, which Havelock 
Ellis, Lombroso, and other eminent men have com- 
piled, shows that the criminal feels, only too keenly that 
it is society that drives him to crime. A Milanese thief 

* The Criminal 



said to Lombroso: **I do not rob, I merely take from 
the rich their superfluities; besides, do not advocates 
and merchants rob?" A murderer wrote: "Knowing 
that three-fourths of the social virtues are cowardly 
vices, I thought an open assault on a rich man would 
be less ignoble than the cautious combination of 
fraud/' Another wrote: "I am imprisoned for stealing 
a half dozen eggs. Ministers who rob millions are 
honored. Poor Italy!" An educated convict said to 
Mr. Davitt: "The laws of society are framed for the 
purpose of securing the wealth of the world to power 
and calculation, thereby depriving the larger portion 
of mankind of its rights and chances. Why should 
they ptmish me for taking by somewhat similar means 
from those who have taken more than they had a right 
to?" The same man added: "Religion robs the soul of 
its independence; patriotism is the stupid worship of 
the world for which the well-being and the peace of 
the inhabitants were sacrificed by those who profit by 
it, while the laws of the land, in restraining natural 
desires, were waging war on the manifest spirit of the 
law of our beings. Compared with this," he concluded, 
"thieving is an honorable pursuit."* 

Verily, there is greater truth in this philosophy 
than in all the law-and-moral books of society. 

The economic, political, moral, and physical factors 
being the microbes of crime, how does society meet the 

The methods of coping with crime have no doubt 

« The CriminaL 


undergone several changes, but mainly in a theoretic 
8snse. In practice, society has retained the primitive 
motive in dealing with the offender; that is, revenge. 
It has also adopted the theologic idea; namely, punish- 
ment; while the legal and "civilized" methods consist 
of deterrence or terror, and reform. We shall presently 
see that all four modes have failed utterly, and that 
we are today no nearer a solution than in the dark 

The natural impulse of the primitive man to strike 
back, to avenge a wrong, is out of date. Instead, the 
civilized man, stripped of courage and daring, has 
delegated to an organized machinery the duty of 
avenging his wrongs, in the foolish belief that the 
State is justified in doing what he no longer has the 
manhood or consistency to do. The majesty-of-the- 
law is a reasoning thing; it would not stoop to primi- 
tive instincts. Its mission is of a "higher** nature. 
True, it is still steeped in the theolo^c muddle, which 
proclaims punishment as a means of purification, or the 
vicarious atonement of sin. But legally and socially 
the statute exercises punishment, not merely as an in- 
fliction of pain upon the offender, but also for its 
terrifying effect upon others. 

What is the real basis of punishment, however? 
The notion of a free will, the idea that man is at all 
times a free agent for good or evil ; if he chooses the 
latter, he must be made to pay the price. Although this 
theory has long been exploded, and thrown upon the 
dustheap, it continues to be applied daily by the 
entire machinery of government, turning it into the 
most cruel and brutal tormentor of human life. The 


only reason for its continuance is the still more cruel 
niDtion that the greater the terror punishment spreads, 
the more certain its preventative effect. 

Society is using the most drastic methods in dealing 
with the social offender. Why do they not deter? 
Although in America a man is supposed to be con- 
sidered innocent until proven guilty, the instruments of 
law, the police, carry on a reign of terror, making in- 
discriminate arrests, beating, dubbing, bullying people, 
using the barbarous method of the "'third degree," 
subjecting their unfortunate victims to the foul air of 
the station house, and the still fouler language of its 
guardians. Yet crimes are rapidly multiplying, and 
society is paying the price. On the other hand, it is 
an open secret that when the unfortunate citizen has 
been given the full "mercy" of the law, and for the 
sake of safety is hidden in the worst of hells, his real 
Calvary begins. Robbed of his rights as a human 
being, degraded to a mere automaton without will or 
feeling, dependent entirely upon the mercy of brutal 
keepers, he daily goes through a process of dehumani- 
zation, compared with which savage revenge was mere 
child's play. 

There is not a single poial institution or reformar 
tory in the United States where men are not tortured 
"to be made good," by means of the blackjack, the 
club, the straight jacket, the water-cure, the "humming 
bird" (an electrical contrivance run along the human 
body), the solitary, the bullring, and starvation diet. 
In these institutions his will is broken, his soul de- 
graded, his spirit subdued by the deadly monotony 
and routine of prison life. In Ohio, Illinois, Pennsyl- 


vania, Missouri, and in the South, these horrors have 
become so flagrant as to reach the outside world, while 
in most other prisons the same Christian methods still 
prevail. But prison walls rarely allow the agonized 
shrieks of the victims to escape — ^prison walls are thick, 
they dull the sound. Society might with greater im- 
munity abolish all prisons at once, than to hope for 
protection from these twentieth century chambers of 

Year after year the gates of prison hells return to 
the world an emaciated, deformed, willess, ship- 
wrecked crew of humanity, with the Cain mark on 
their foreheads, their hopes crushed, all their natural 
inclinations thwarted. With nothing but hunger and 
inhumanity to greet them, these victims soon sink back 
into crime as the only possibility of existence. It is not 
at all an unusual thing to find men and women who 
have spent half their lives — ^nay, almost their entire ex- 
istence — ^in prison. I know a woman on Blackwell's 
Island, who had been in and out thirty-eight times; 
and through a friend I leam that a young boy of 
seventeen, whom he had nursed and cared for in the 
Pittsburg penitentiary, had never known the meaning 
of liberty. From the reformatory to the penitentiary 
had been the path of this boy's life, until, broken in 
body, he died a victim of social reVenge. These per- 
sonal experiences are substantiated by extensive data 
giving overwhelming proof of the utter futility of 
prisons as a means of deterrence or reform. 

Well-meaning persons are now working for a new 
departure in the prison question, — reclamation, to re- 
store once more to the prisoner the possibility of be- 


coming a human being. Commendable as this is, I 
fear it is impossible to hope for good resuhs from 
pouring good wine into a musty bottle. Nothing short 
of a complete reconstruction of society will deliver 
mankind from the cancer of crime. Still, if the dull 
edge of our social conscience would be sharpened, the 
penal institutions might be given a new coat of varnish. 
But the first step to be taken is the renovation of the 
social consciousness, which is in a rather dilapidated 
condition. It is sadly in need to be awakened to the 
fact that crime is a question of degree, that we all have 
the rudiments of crime in us, more or less, according 
to our mental, physical, and social environment; and 
that the individual criminal is merely a reflex of the 
tendencies of the aggregate. 

With the social consciousness awakened, the aver- 
age individual may learn to refuse the "honor" of 
being the bloodhound of the law. He may cease to 
persecute, despise, and mistrust the social offender, 
and give him a chance to live and breathe among his 
fellows. Institutions are, of course, harder to reach. 
They are cold, impenetrable, and cruel; still, with the 
social consciousness quickened, it might be possible to 
free the prison victims from the brutality of prison 
officials, guards, and keepers. Public opinion is a 
powerful weapon; keepers of human prey, even, are 
afraid of it. They may be taught a little humanity, 
especially if they realize that their jobs depend upon it. 

But the most important step is to demand for the 
prisoner the right to work while in prison, with some 
monetary recompense that would enable him to lay 


aside a little for the day of his release, the b^inning of 
a new life. 

It is almost ridiculous to hope much from present 
society when we consider that workingmen, wage 
slaves themselves, object to convict labor. I shall not 
go into the cruelty of this objection, but merely con- 
sider the impracticability of it. To begin with, the 
opposition so far raised by organized labor has been 
directed against windmills. Prisoners have alwajrs 
worked; only the State has been their exploiter, even 
as the individual employer has been the robber of 
organized labor. The States have either set the con- 
victs to work for the government, or they have farmed 
convict labor to private individuals. Twenty-nine of 
the States pursue the latter plan. The Federal govern- 
ment and seventeen States have discarded it, as have 
the leading nations of Europe, since it leads to hideous 
overworking and abuse of prisoners, and to endless 

Rhode Island, the State dominated by Aldrich, 
offers perhaps the worst example. Under a five-year 
contract, dated July 7th, 1906, and renewable for five 
years more at the option of private contractors, the 
labor of the inmates of the Rhode Island Penitentiary 
and the Providence County Jail is sold to the Reliance- 
Sterling Mfg. Co. at the rate of a trifle less than 25 
cents a day per man. This Company is really a 
gigantic Prison Labor Trust, for it also leases the 
convict labor of Connecticut, Michigan, Indiana, Ne- 
braska, and South Dakota penitentiaries, and the re- 
formatories of New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois^ and Wis- 
consin, eleven establishments in all. 


The enonnity of the graft under the Rhode Island 
contract may be estimated from the fact that this same 
Company pays 62}^ cents a day in Nebraska for the 
convict's labor, and that Tennessee, for example, gets 
$1.10 a day for a convict's work from the Gray-Dudley 
Hardware Co. ; Missouri gets 70 cents a day from the 
Star Overall Mfg. Co. ; West Virginia 65 cents a day 
from the Kraft Mfg. Co., and Maryland 55 cents a day 
from Oppenheim, Oberndorf & Co., shirt manufactur- 
ers. The very difference in prices points to enormous 
graft. For example, the Reliance-Sterling Mfg. Co. 
manufactures shirts, the cost by free labor being not 
less than $1.20 per dozen, while it pays Rhode Island 
thirty cents a dozen. Furthermore, the State charges 
this Trust no rent for the use of its huge factory, 
charges nothing for power, heat, light, or even drain- 
age, and exacts no taxes. What graft! 

It is estimated that more than twelve million dol- 
lars worth of workingmen's shirts and overalls is pro- 
duced annually in this country by prison labor. It is a 
woman's industry, and the first reflection that arises 
is that an immense amount of free female labor is thus 
displaced. The second consideration is that male con- 
victs, who should be learning trades that would give 
them some chance of being self-supporting after their 
release, are kept at this work at which they can not 
possibly make a dollar. This is the more serious when 
we consider that much of this labor is done in reforma- 
tories, which so loudly profess to be training tiieir 
inmates to become useful citizens. 

The third, and most important, consideration is that 
the enormous profits thus wrung from convict labor 


are a constant incentive to the contractors to exact 
from their unhappy victims tasks altogether beyond 
their strength, and to punish them cruelly when their 
work does not come up to the excessive demands made. 

Another word on the condemnation of convicts to 
tasks at which they cannot hope to make a living after 
release. Indiana, for example, is a State that has made 
a great splurge over being in the front rank of modem 
penological improvements. Yet, according to the re- 
port rendered in 1908 by the training school of its 
"reformatory," 135 were engaged in the manufacture 
of chains, 207 in that of shirts, and 255 in the foundry 
— a, total of 597 in three occupations. But at this so- 
called reformatory 59 occupations were represented by 
the inmates, 39 of which were connected with country 
pursuits. Indiana, like other States, professes to be 
training the inmates of her reformatory to occupations 
by which they will be able to make their living when 
released. She actually sets them to work making 
chains, shirts, and brooms, the latter for the benefit 
of the Louisville Fancy Grocery Co, Broom making 
is a trade largely monopolized by the blind, shirt mak- 
ing is done by women, and there is only one free chain 
factory in the State, and at that a released convict can 
not hope to get employment. The whole thing is a 
cruel farce. 

If, then, the States can be instrumental in robbing 
their helpless victims of such tremendous profits, is it 
not high time for organized labor to stop its idle howl, 
and to insist on decent remuneration for the convict, 
even as labor organizations claim for themselves? In 
that way workingmen would kill the germ which makes 


of the prisoner an enemy to the interests of labor. I 
have said elsewhere that thousands of convicts, incom- 
petent and without a trade, without means of sub- 
sistence, are yearly turned back into the social fold. 
These men and women must live, for even an ex-con- 
vict has needs. Prison life has made them anti-social 
beings, and the rigidly closed doors that meet them 
on their release are not likely to decrease their bitter- 
ness. The inevitable result is that they form a favor- 
able nucleus out of which scabs, blacklegs, detectives, 
and policemen are drawn, only too willing to do the 
master's bidding. Thus organized labor, by its foolish 
opposition to work in prison, defeats its own ends. It 
helps to create poisonous fumes that stifle every at- 
tempt for economic betterment. If the workingman 
wants to avoid these effects, he should insist on the 
right of the convict to work, he should meet him as a 
brother, take him into his organization, and with his 
aid turn against the system which grinds them both. 

Last, but not least, is the growing realization of 
the barbarity and the inadequacy of the definite sen- 
tence. Those who believe in, and earnestly aim at, a 
change are fast coming to the conclusion that man 
must be given an opportunity to make good. And 
how is he to do it with ten, fifteen, or twenty years' im- 
prisonment before him? The hope of liberty and of 
opportunity is the only incentive to life, especially the 
prsoner's life. Society has sinned so long against him 
— it ought at least to leave him that. I am not very 
sanguine that it will, or that any real change in that 
direction can take place until the conditions that breed 


both the prisoner and the jailer will be forever abol- 

Out of his mouth a red, red rose! 

Out of his heart a white! 

For who can say by what strange way 

Qirist brings his will to light, 

Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore 

Bloomed in he great Pope's sight 



What is patriotism? Is it love of one's birthplace, 
the place of childhood's recollections and hopes, dreams 
and aspirations? Is it the place where, in childlike 
naivety, we would watch the fleeting clouds, and won- 
der why we, too, could not run so swiftly ? The place 
where we would count the milliard glittering stars, 
terror-stricken lest each one "an eye should be," pierc- 
ing the very depths of our little souls? Is it the place 
where we would listen to the music of the birds, and 
long to have wings to fly, even as they, to distant 
lands? Or the place where we would sit at mother's 
knee, enraptured by wonderful tales of great deeds 
and conquests? In short, is it love for the spot, every 
inch representing dear and precious recollections of 
a happy, joyous, and playful childhood? 

If that were pariotism, few American men of to- 
day could be called upon to be patriotic, since the place 
of play has been turned into factory, mill, and mine, 
while deafening sounds of madiinery have replaced 
the music of the birds. Nor can we longer hear the 
tales of great deeds, for the stories our mothers tell 
today are but those of sorrow, tears, and grief. 



What, then, is patriotism? "Patriotism, sir, is. the 
last resort of scoundrels," said Dr. Johnson. Leo Tol- 
stoy, the greatest anti-patriot of our times, defines 
) patriotism as the principle that will justify the train- 
ing of wholesale murderers; a trade that requires better 
equipment for the exercise of man-killing than the 
making of such necessities of life as shoes, clothing, 
and houses ; a trade that guarantees better returns and 
greater glory than that of the average workingman. 

Gustave Herve, another great anti-patriot, justly 

calls patriotism a superstition— one far more injurious, 

brutal, and inhumane than religion. The superstition 

of religion originated in man's inability to explain 

natural phenomena. That is, when primitive man 

heard thunder or saw the lightning, he could not 

account for either, and therefore concluded that back 

of them must be a force greater than himself. Simi- 

lariy he saw a supernatural force in the rain, and in 

the various other changes in nature. Patriotism, on 

the other hand, is a superstition artificially created and 

' maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; 

I a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and 

- dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit. 

Indeed, conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the 
essentials of patriotism. Let me illustrate. Patriotism 
assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, 
each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have 
had the fortune of being bom on some particular 
spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, 
more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any 
other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone 


living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the 
attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others. 

The inhabitants of the other spots reason in like 
manner, of course, with the result that, from early 
infancy, the mind of the child is poisoned with blood- 
curdling stories about the Germans, the French, the 
Italians, Russians, etc. When the child has reached 
manhood, he is thoroughly saturated with the belief 
that he is chosen by the Lord himself to defend his 
country against the attack or invasion of any for- 
eigner. It is for that purpose that we are clamoring 
for a greater army and navy, more battleships and 
ammunition. It is for that purpose that America has 
within a short time spent four hundred million dol- 
lar s. Just fliin k of it-r:fouf Tiiinflred million dollars 
taken from the pr63uce of the people. For surely it 
is liof the rich "who contribute to patriotism. They 
are cosmopolitans, perfectly at home in every land. 
We in America know well the truth of this. Are not 
our rich Americans Frenchmen in France, Germans in 
Germany, or Englishmen in England? And do they 
not squander with cosmopolitan grace fortunes coined 
by American factory children and cotton slaves ? Yes, 
theirs is the patriotism that will make it possible to 
sendTftessages of condolence to a despot like the Rus- 
sianTsar, when any mishap befalls him, as President 
Roos5veit"did in the name of his people, When Sergius 
was punished by the Russian revolutionists. 

It is a patriotism that will assist the arch-murderer, 
Diaz, in destroying thousands of lives in Mexico, or 
that will even aid in arresting Mexican revolutionists 
on American soil and keep them incarcerated in Amer- 


ican prisons, without the slightest cause or reason. 

But, then, patriotism is not for those who represent 
wealth and power. It is good enough for the people. 
It reminds one of the historic wisdom of Frederic the 
Great, the bosom friend of Voltaire, who said: "Re- 
ligion is a fraud, but it must be maintained for the 

That patriotism is rather a costly institution, no 
one will doubt after considering the following sta- 
tistics. The progressive increase of the expenditures 
for the leading armies and navies of the world during 
the last quarter of a century is a fact of such gravity 
as to startle every thoughtful student of economic 
problems. It may be briefly indicated by dividing the 
time from 1881 to 1905 into five-year periods, and 
noting the disbursements of several great nations for 
army and navy purposes during the first and last of 
those periods. From the first to the last of the periods 
noted the expenditures of Great Britain increased from 
$2,101,848,936 to $4,143,226,885, those of France from 
$3,324,500,000 to $3,455,109,900, those of Germany 
from $725,000,200 to $2,700,375,600, those of the 
United States from $1,275,500,750 to $2,650,900,450, 
those of Russia from $1,900,975,500 to $5,250445,100, 
those of Italy from $1,600,975,750 to $1,755,500,100, 
and those of Japan from $182,900,500 to $700,925,475. 

The military expenditures of each of the nations 
mentioned increased in each of the five-year periods 
under review. During the entire interval from 1881 
to 1905 Great Britain's outlay for her army increased 
fourfold, that of the United States was tripled, Russia's 
was doubled, that of Germany increased 35 per cent, 


that of France about 15 per cent., and that of Japan 
nearly 500 per cent. If we compare the expenditures 
of these nations upon their armies with their total 
expenditures for all the twenty-five years ending with 
1905, the proportion rose as follows: 

In Great Britain from 20 per cent, to 37; in the 
United States from 15 to 23 ; in France from 16 to 18 ; 
in Italy from 12 to 15 ; in Japan from 12 to 14. On the 
other hand, it is interesting to note that the proportion 
in Germany decreased from about 58 per cent, to 25, 
the decrease being due to the enormous increase in the 
imperial expenditures for other purposes, the fact 
being that the army expenditures for the period of 
1901-5 were higher than for any five-year period pre- 
ceding. Statistics show that the countries in which 
* army expenditures are greatest, in proportion to the 
total national revenues, are Great Britain, the United 
States, Japan, France, and Italy, in the order named. 
The showing as to the cost of great navies is 
equally impressive. During the twenty-five years end- 
ing with 1905 naval expenditures increased approxi- 
mately as follows : Great Britain, 300 per cent. ; France 
60 per cent; Germany 600 per cent.; the United 
States 525 per cent.; Russia 300 per cent.; Italy 250 
per cent.; and Japan, 700 per cent. With the excep- 
tion of Great Britain, the United States spends more 
for naval purposes than any other nation, and this 
expenditure bears also a larger proportion to the 
entire national disbursements than that of any other 
power. In the period 1881-5, the expenditure for the 
United States navy was $6.20 out of each $100 appro- 
priated for all national purposes; the amount rose to 


$6.60 for the next five-year period, to $8.10 for the 
next, to $11.70 for the next, and to $1640 for 1901-5. 
It is morally certain that the outlay for the current 
period of five years will show a still further increase. 

The rising cost of militarism may be still further 
illustrated by computing it as a per capita tax on popu- 
lation. From the first to the last of the five-year 
periods taken as the basis for the comparisons here 
given, it has risen as follows : In Great Britain, from 
$18.47 to $52.50; in France, from $19.66 to $23.62; 
in Germany from $10.17 to $15.51; in the United 
States, from $5.62 to $13.64; in Russia, from $6.14 
to $8.37; in Italy, from $9.59 to $11.24, and in Japan 
from 86 cents to $3.11. 

It is in connection with this rough estimate of 
cost per capita that the economic burden ot militarism 
is most appreciable. The irresistible conclusion from 
available data is that the increase of expenditure for 
army and navy purposes is rapidly surpassing the 
growth of. population in each of the countries con- 
sidered in, the present calculation. In other words, a 
continuation of the increased demands of militarism 
threatens each of those nations with a progpressive ex- 
haustion both of men and resources. 

The awful waste that patriotism necessitates ought 
to be sufficient to cure the man of even average intelli- 
gence from this disease. Yet patriotism demands still 
more. The people are urged to be patriotic and for 
that luxury they pay, not only by supporting their 
"defenders," but even by sacrificing their own chil- 
dren. Patriotism requires allegiance to the flag, which 


means obedience and readiness to kill father, mother, 
brother, sister. 

The usual contention is that we need a standing 
army to protect the country from foreign invasion. 
Every intelligent man and woman knows, however, 
that this is a myth maintained to frighten and coerce 
the foolish. The governments of the world, knowing *^ '^ "^ . • 
eachother^jtfdifillfiglfi^^ They """^g,; ,», 

have learned that they can gain much more by inter- »^^^^u- 
national arbitration of disputes than by war and con 
quest. Indeed, as Carlyle said, "War is a quarrel be- 
tween two thieves too cowardly to fight their own 
battle; therefore they take boys from one village and 
another village, stick them into uniforms, equip them 
with guns, and let them loose like wild beasts against 
each other." 

It does not require much wisdom to trace every 
war back to a similar cause. Let us take our own 
Spanish-American war, supposedly a great and pa- 
triotic event in the history of the United States. How 
our hearts burned with indignation against the atro- 
cious Spaniards! True, our indignation did not flare 
up spontaneously. It was nurtured by months of 
newspaper agitation, and long after Butcher Weyler 
had killed off many noble Cubans and outraged many 
Cuban women. Still, in justice to the American Nation 
be it said, it did grow indignant and was willing to 
fight, and that it fought bravely. But when the smoke 
was over, the dead buried, and the cost of the 
war came back to the people in an increase in the 
price of commodities and rent — ^that is, when we 
sobered up from our patriotic spree — ^it suddenly 
dawned on us that the cause of the Spanish-American 


war was the consideration of the price of sugar; or, 
to be more explicit, that the lives, blood, and money 
of the American people were used to protect the in- 
terests of American capitalists, which were threatened 
by the Spanish government. That this is not an ex- 
aggeration, but is based on absolute facts and figures, 
is best proven by the attitude of the American govern- 
ment to Cuban labor. When Cuba was firmly in the 
clutches of the United States, the very soldiers sent 
to liberate Cuba were ordered to shoot Cuban work- 
ingmen during the great dgarmakers' strike, which 
took place shortly after the war. 

Nor do we stand alone in waging war for such 
causes. The curtain is beginning to be lifted on the 
motives of the terrible Russo-Japanese war, which cost 
so much blood and tears. And we see again that back 
of the fierce Moloch of war stands the still fiercer god 
of Commercialism. Kuropatkin, the Russian Minister 
of War during the Russo-Japanese struggle, has re- 
vealed the true secret behind the latter. The Tsar 
and his Grand Dukes, having invested money in 
Corean concessions, the war was forced for the sole 
purpose of speedily accumulating large fortunes. 

The contention that a standing army and navy is 
the best security of peace is about as logical as the 
claim that the most peaceful citizen is he who goes 
about heavily armed. The experience of every-day 
life fully proves that the armerTinai vi^tfal is mv ariahly 
anxious to try his strength. The same is historically 
true of govemmients. Really peaceful countries do 
not waste life and energy in war preparations, with 
the result that peace is maintained. 


However, the clamor for an increased army and 
navy is not due to any foreign danger. It is owing 
to die dread of the growing discontent of the masses 
and of the international spirit among the workers. It 
is to meet the internal enemy that the Powers of 
various countries are preparing, th^jggjyes; an enemy, 
iT^ho, once awalcened to consciousness^ will prove more -, 
dangerous than any foreign invader. 

The powers that have for centuries been engaged 
in enslaving the masses have made a thorough study 
of their psychology. They know that the people at 
large are like children whose despair, sorrow, and 
tears can be turned into joy with a little toy. And the 
more gorgeously the toy is dressed, the louder the 
colors, the more it will appeal to the million-headed 

An army and navy represents the people's toys. To 
make them more attractive and acceptable, hundreds 
and thousands of dollars are being spent for the dis- 
play of these toys. That was the purpose of the 
American government in equipping a fleet and send- 
ing it along the Pacific coast, that every American 
citizen should be made to feel the pride and glory of 
the United States. The city of San Francisco spent 
one hundred thousand dollars for the entertainment 
of the fleet ; Los Angeles, sixty thousand ; Seattle and 
Tacoma, about one hundred thousand. To entertain 
the fleet, did I say? To dine and wine a few superior 
officers, while the "brave boys" had to mutiny to get 
suflident food. Yes, two hundred and sixty thousand 
dollars were spent on fireworks, theatre parties, and 
revelries, at a time when men, women, and children 


through the breadth and length of the country were 
starving in the streets ; when thousands of unemployed 
were ready to sell their labor at any price. 

Two hundred and sixty thousand dollars! What 
could not have been accomplished with such an enor- 
mous sum? But instead of bread and shelter, the 
children of those cities were taken to see the fleet, 
that it may remain, as one of the newspapers said, '*a 
lasting memory for the child." 

A wonderful thing to remember, is it not? The 
implements of civilized slaughter. If the mind of the 
child is to be poisoned with such memories, what 
hope is there for a true realization of human brother- 

We Americans claim to, be a peace-lovin g^ peopl e. 
We hate bloodshed ; we are opposed to violence. Yet 
we go into spasms of joy ovcfthe possibility of pro- 
jecting dynamite bombs from flying machines upon 
helpless citizens.' We are readyto hang, electrocute, 
or lynch anyone, who, from economic necessity, will 
risk his own life in the attempt upon that of some 
industrial magnate. Yet our hearts swell with pride 
, at the thought that America is becoming the most 
i powerful nation on earth, and that it will eventually 
plant her iron foot on the necks of all other nations. 

Such is the logic of patriotism. 
^ Considering the evil results that patriotism is 
fraught with for the average man, it is as nothing com- 
pared with the insult and injury that patriotism heaps 
upon the soldier himself, — ^that poor, deluded victim of 
superstition and ignorance. He, the savior of his 
country, the protector of his nation, — ^what has patriot- 


ism in store for him? A life of slavish submission, 
vice, and perversion, during peace; a life of danger, 
exposure, and death, during war. 

While on a recent lecture tour in San Francisco, I 
visited the Presidio, the most beautiful spot overlook- 
ing the Bay and Golden Gate Park. Its purpose 
should have been playgrounds for children, gardens 
and music for the recreation of the weary. Instead it 
is made ugly, dull, and gray by barracks, — ^barracks 
wherein the rich would not allow their dogs to dwell. 
In these miserable shanties soldiers are herded like 
cattle ; here they waste their young days, polishing the 
boots and brass buttons of their superior officers. 
Here, too, I saw the distinction of classes : sturdy sons 
of a free Republic, drawn up in line like convicts, 
saluting every passing shrimp of a lieutenant. Amer- 
ican equality, degrading manhood and elevating the 

Barrack life further tends to develop tendencies of 
sexual perversion. It is gradually producing along 
this line results similar to European military con- 
ditions. Havelock Ellis, the noted writer on sex 
psychology, has made a thorough study of the subject. 
I quote : "Some of the barracks are great centers of 
male prostitution. . . The number of soldiers who 
prostitute themselves is greater than we are willing to 
believe. It is no exaggeration to say that in certain 
regiments the presumption is in favor of the venality 
of the majority of the men. . . . On summer even- 
ings, Hyde Park and the neighborhood of Albert Gate 
are full of guardsmen and others pl)dng a lively trade, 
and with little disguise, in uniform or out. ... In 


most cases the proceeds form a comfortable addition 
to Tommy Atkins' pocket money." 

To what extent this perversion has eaten its way 
into the army and navy can best be judged from the 
fact that special houses exist for this form of prosti- 
tution. The practice is not limited to England; it 
is universal. "Soldiers are no less sought after in 
France than in England or in Germany, and special 
houses for military prostitution exist both in Paris 
and the garrison towns." 

Had Mr. Havelock Ellis included America in his 
investigation of sex perversion, he would have found 
that the same conditions prevail in our army and 
navy as in those of other countries. The growth of 
the standing army inevitably adds to the spread of 
sex perversion; the barracks are the incubators. 

Aside from the sexual effects of barrack life, it 
also tends to unfit the soldier for useful labor after 
leaving the army. Men, skilled in a trade, seldom 
enter the army or navy, but even they, after a military 
experience, find themselves totally unfitted for their 
former occupations. Having acquired habits of idle- 
ness and a taste for excitement and adventure, no 
peaceful pursuit can content them. Released from 
the army, they can turn to no useful work. But it is 
usually the social rifiF-raff, discharged prisoners and 
the like, whom either the struggle for life or their own 
inclination drives into the ranks. These, their military 
term over, again turn to their former life of crime, 
more brutalized and degraded than before. It is a 
well-known fact that in our prisons there is a goodly 
ntmiber of ex-soldiers; while on the other hand, the 


army aod navy are to a great extent supplied with 

Of all the evil results, I have just described, 
none seems to me so detrimental to human int^rity 
a s the spiri t patriotism has produced in the case of 
( T^vate W ilRam Buwd^. Because he foolishly be- 
lieved thaf one~cah"be' S soldier and exercise his rights 
as a man at the same time, the military authorities 
punished him severely. True, he had served his coun- 
try fifteen years, during which time his record was 
unimpeachable. According to Gen. Funston, who re- 
duced Buwalda's sentence to three years, "the first 
duty of an officer or an enlisted man is unquestioned 
obdrterrcrarRiioysflty % ^- ^ " *' 

no difference whether he "approves of tfiaTgovemment , . ^ '* * " 
ornot.^ Thus Funston stamps the true character of w^/ t»..c^ 
allegiance. According to him, entrance into the army , • 
abrogates the principles of the Declaration of Inde- ^[/ 

What a strange development of patriotism that 
turns a thinking being into a loyal machine ! 

In justification of this most outrageous sentence of 
Buwalda, Gen. Funston tells the American people that 
the soldier's action was "a serious crime equal to 
treason." Now, what did this "terrible crime" really 
consist of? Simply in this: William Buwalda was - , 
one of fifteen hundred people who attended a public i 
meeting in San Francisco; and" on,' horrors, he shook' '* '* 
hands with the speaker, Emma Goldman. A terrible 
crime, indeed; ^MCh fhe General calls "a great military r r -•- 
offense, infinitely worse than desertion." 





Can there be a greater indictment against patriot- 
ism than that it will thus brand a man a criminal, 
throw him into prison, and rob him of the results of 
fifteen years of faithful service? 

Buwalda gave to his country the best years of 
his life and his very manhood. Hut all that was as 
. ^ nothing. rPatriotism is inexorable and, like all in- 
satiable monsters, demands all or nothing It does 
not admit that a soldier is also a human being, who 
has a right to his own feelings and opinions, his own 
inclinations and ideas. No, patriotism can not admit 
of that. That is the lesson which Buwalda was made 
to learn ; made to learn at a rather costly, though not 
at a useless, price. When he returned to freedom, he 
had lost his position in the army, but he regained his 
self-respect. After all, that is worth three years of 

A writer on the military conditions of America, 
in a recent article, commented on the power of the 
military man over the civilian in Germany. He said, 
among other things, that if our Republic had no other 
meaning than to guarantee all citizens equal rights, 
it would have just cause for existence. I am con- 
vinced that the writer was not in Colorado during the 
patriotic regime of General Bell. He probab ly would 
have changed hirifflliaTiiad he see n how, in the name 
^ of patriotism and the Republic,' men were thrown into 
! bull-pens, dragged about, driven across the border, 
•s and subjected to all kindrtrflffdlgmfiies. Nor is that 
^ Colorado incident the only one in the growth of mili- 
( tary power in the United States. There is hardly a 
strike where troops and militia do not come to die 


rescue of those in power, and where they do not act as 
arrogantly and brutally as do the men wearing the 
Kaiser's uniform. Then, too, we have the Dick mili- 
tary law. Had the writer forgotten that? 

A great misfortune with most of our writers is 
that they are absolutely ignorant on current events, or 
that, lacking honesty, they will not speak of these 
matters. And so it has come to pass that the Dick 
military law was rushed through Congress with little 
discussion and still less publicity, — a law which gives 
the President the power to turn a peaceful citizen into 
a bloodthirsty man-killer, supposedly for the defense 
of the country, in reality for the protection of the in- 
terests of that particular party whose mouthpiece the 
President happens to be. 

Our writer claims that militarian can never be- 
come such a power in America as abroad, since it is 
voluntary with us, while compulsory in the Old World. 
Two very important facts, however, the gentleman for- 
gets to consider. First, that conscription has created 
in Europe a deep-seated hatred of militarism among 
all classes of society. Thousands of young recruits 
enlist under protest and, once in the army, they will 
use every possible means to desert. Second, that it 
is the compulsory feature of militarism which has 
created a tremendous anti-militarist movement, feared 
by European Powers far more than anj^hing else. 
After all, the greatest bulwark of capitalism is mili- 
tarism. The very moment the latter is undermined, 
capitalism will totter. True, we have no conscription : vO 
that is, men are not usually forced to enlist in the 
army, but we have developed a far more exacting and 


rigid force — necessity. Is it not a fact that during 
industrial depressions there is a tremendous increase 
in the number of enlistments ? The trade of militarism 
may not be either lucrative or honorable, but it is 
better than tramping the country in search of work, 
standing in the bread line, or sleeping in municipal 
lodging houses. After all, it means thirteen dollars per 
month, three meals a day, and a place to sleep. Yet 
even necessity is not sufficiently strong a factor to 
bring into the army an element of character and man- 
hood. No wonder our military authorities complain 
of the "poor material" enlisting in the army and navy. 
This admission is a very encouraging sign. It proves 
that there is still enough of the spirit of independence 
and love of liberty left in the average American to 
risk starvation rather than don the uniform. 

Thinking men and women the world over are be- 
ginning to realize that patriotism is too narrow and 
limited a conception to meet the necessities of our 
time. The centralization of power has brought into 
being an international feeling of solidarity among the 
oppressed nations of the world; a solidarity whidi 
represents a greater harmony of interests between the 
workingman of America and his brothers abroad than 
between the American miner and his exploiting com- 
patriot; a solidarity which fears not foreign invasion, 
because it is bringing all the workers to the point 
when they will say to thdr masters, "Go and do your 
own killing. We have done it long enough for you." 

This solidarity is awakening the consciouaciess of 
even the soldiers, they, too, being flesh of the flesh 
of the g^eat human family. A solidarity that has 


proven infallible more than once during past struggles, 
and which has been the impetus inducing the Parisian 
soldiers, during the Commune of 1871, to refuse to 
obey when ordered to shoot their brothers. It has 
given courage to the men who mutinied on Russian 
warships during recent years. It will eventually bring 
about the uprising of all the oppressed and down- 
trodden against their international exploiters. 

The proletariat of Europe has realized the great 
force of that solidarity and has, as a result, in- 
augurate d a war against patriptism ^rA '^^i ^^^^^^y 
spectre, militarism. Thousands of men fi ^ t ^^ p risons 
of yidfiLt, G^iniaii)', kussia, and the Scandinavian 
countries, because they dared to defy the ancient 
superstition. Nor is the movement limited to the 
working class; it has anbraced representatives in all 
stations of life, its chief exponents being men and 
women prominent in art, science, and letters. 

America will have to follow suit. The spirit of 
militarism has already permeated all walks of life. 
Indeed, I am convinced that militarism is growing a 
greater danger here than anywhere else, because of 
the many bribes capitalism holds out to those whom 
it wishes to destroy. 

The beginning has already been made in the 
schools. Evidently the government holds to the 
Jesuitical conception, "Give me the child mind, and 
I will mould the man." Qiildren are trained in mili- 
tary tactics, the glory of military achievements ex- 
tolled in the curriculum, and the 3routhful minds per- 
verted to suit the government. Further, the youth of 
the country is appealed to in glaring posters to join 


the army and navy. "A fine chance to see the world!'* 
cries the governmental huckster. Thus innocent boys 
are morally shanghaied into patriotism, and the mili- 
tary Moloch strides conquering through the Nation. 

The American workingman has suffered so much 
at the hands of the soldier, State and Federal, that he 
is quite justified in his disgust with, and his opposition 
to, the uniformed parasite. However, mere denuncia- 
tion will not solve this great problem. What we need 
is a propaganda of education for the soldier: anti- 
patriotic literature that will enlighten him as to the 
real horrors of his trade, and that will awaken his 
consciousness to his true relation to the man to whose 
labor he owes his very existence. 

It is precisely this that the authorities fear most. 
It is already hi gh treason for a soldier to attend a 
radfcah^meetr ng. No doub t they will also stamp it 
high treason for a soldier to read a radical pamphlet. 
But then, has not authority from time immemorial 
stamped every step of progress as treasonable? 
Those, however, who earnestly strive for social recon- 
struction can well afford to face all that; for it is 
probably even more important to carry the truth into 
the barracks than into the factory. When we have 
undermined the patriotic lie, we shall have cleared the 
path for that great structure wherein all nationalities 
shall be united into a universal brotherhood, — a truly 




Experience has come to be considered the best 
school of life. The man or woman who does not 
learn some vital lesson in that school is looked upon 
as a dunce indeed. Yet strange to say, that though 
organized institutions continue perpetuating errors, 
though they learn nothing from experience, we ac- 
quiesce, as a matter of course. 

There lived and worked in Barcelona a man by 
the name of Francisco Ferrer. A teacher of children 
he was, known and loved by his people. Outside 
of Spain only the cultured few knew of Francisco 
Ferrer's work. To the world at large this teacher 
was non-existent. 

On the first of September, 1909, the Spanish 
government — ^at the behest of the Catholic Church — 
arrested Francisco Ferrer. On the thirteenth of Oc- 
tober, after a mock trial, he was placed in the ditch 
at Montjuich prison, against the hideous wall of 
many sighs, and shot dead. Instantly Ferrer, the 
obscure teacher, became a universal figure, blazing 
forth the indignation and wrath of the whole civilized 
world against the wanton murder. 


The killing of Francisco Ferrer was not the first 
crime committed by the Spanish government and 
the Catholic Church. The history of these institu- 
tions is one long stream of fire and blood. Still 
they have not learned through experience, nor yet 
come to realize that every frail being slain by 
Church and State grows and grows into a mighty 
giant, who will some day free humanity from their 
perilous hold. 

Francisco Ferrer was born in 1859, of humble 
parents. They were Catholics, and therefore hoped 
to raise their son in the same faith. They did not 
know that the boy was to become the harbinger of 
a great truth, that his mind would refuse to travel 
in the old path. At an early age Ferrer began to 
question the faith of his fathers. He demanded to 
know how it is that the God who spoke to him of 
goodness and love would mar the sleep of the inno- 
cent child with dread and awe of tortures, of suffer- 
ing, of hell. Alert and of a vivid and investigating 
mind, it did not take him long to discover the hideous- 
ness of that black monster, the Catholic Church, He 
would have none of it. 

Francisco Ferrer was not only a doubter, a 
searcher for truth; he was also a rebel. His spirit 
would rise in just indignation against the iron regime 
of his country, and when a band of rebels, led by 
the brave patriot, General Villacampa, under the 
banner of the Republican ideal, made an onslaught 
on that regime, none was more ardent a fighter than 
young Francisco Ferrer. The Republican ideal, — I 
hope no one will confound it with the Republicanism 


of this country. Whatever objection I, as an An- 
archist, have to the Republicans of Latin countries^ 
I know they tower high above that corrupt and 
reactionary party that, in America, is destroying every 
vestige of liberty and justice. One has but to think 
of the Mazzinis, the Garibaldis, the scores of others, 
to realize that their eflForts were directed, not merely 
against the overthrow of despotism, but particularly 
against the Catholic Church, which from its very 
inception has been the enemy of all progress and 

In America it is just the reverse. Republicanism 
stands for vested rights, for imperialism, for graft, 
for the annihilation of every semblance of liberty. 
Its ideal is the oily, creepy respectability of a Mc- 
Kinley, and the brutal arrogance of a Roosevelt. 

The Spanish republican rebels were subdued. It 
takes more than one brave effort to split the rock 
of ages, to cut off the head of that hydra monster, 
the Catholic Church and the Spanish throne. Arrest, 
persecution, and punishment followed the heroic at- 
tempt of the little band. Those who could escape 
the bloodhounds had to flee for safety to foreign 
shores. Francisco Ferrer was among the latter. He 
went to France. 

How his soul must have expanded in the new 
land! France, the cradle of liberty, of ideas, of ac- 
tion. Paris, the ever young, intense Paris, with her 
pulsating life, after the gloom of his own belated 
country, — ^how she must have inspired him. What 
opportunities, what a glorious chance for a young 


Francisco Ferrer lost no time. Like one famished 
he threw himself into the various liberal movements, 
met all kinds of people, learned, absorbed, and grew. 
While there, he also saw in operation the Modem 
School, which was to play such an important and 
fatal part in his life. 

The Modern School in France was founded long 
before Ferrer's time. Its originator, though on a 
small scale, was that sweet spirit, Louise Michel. 
Whether consciously or unconsciously, our own great 
Louise felt long ago that the future belongs to the 
young generation; that unless the young be rescued 
from that mind and soul destroying institution, the 
bourgeois school, social evils will continue to exist. 
Perhaps she thought, with Ibsen, that the atmosphere 
is saturated with ghosts, that the adult man and 
woman have so many superstitions to overcome. No 
sooner do they outgrow the deathlike grip of one 
spook, lo! they find themselves in the thralldom of 
ninety-nine other spooks. Thus but a few reach the 
mountain peak of complete regeneration. 

The child, however, has no traditions to over- 
come. Its mind is not burdened with set ideas, its 
heart has not grown cold with class and caste dis- 
tinctions. The child is to the teacher what clay is 
to the sculptor. Whether the world will receive a 
work of art or a wretched imitation, depends to a 
large extent on the creative power of the teacher. 

Louise Michel was pre-eminently qualified to meet 
the child's soul cravings. Was she not herself of 
a childlike nature, so sweet and tender, unsophisticated 
and generous. The soul of Louise burned always 


at white heat over every social injustice. She was 
invariably in the front ranks whenever the people 
of Paris rebelled against some wrong. And as she 
was made to suffer imprisonment for Her great de- 
votion to the oppressed, the little school on Mont- 
martre was soon no more. But the seed was planted, 
and has since borne fruit in many cities of France. 

The most important venture of a Modern School 
was that of the great, young old man, Paul Robin. 
Together with a few friends he established a large 
school at Cempuis, a beautiful place near Paris. Paul 
Robin aimed at a higher ideal than merely modem 
ideas in education. He wanted to demonstrate by 
actual facts that the bourgeois conception of heredity 
is but a mere pretext to exempt society from its 
terrible crimes against the young. The contenticm 
that the child must suffer for the sins of the fathers, 
that it must continue in poverty and filth, that it 
must grow up a drunkard or criminal, just because 
its parents left it no other legacy, was too pre- 
posterous to the beautiful spirit of Paul Robin. He 
believed that whatever part heredity may play, there 
are other factors equally great, if not greater, that 
may and will eradicate or minimize the so-called first 
cause. Proper economic and social environment, the 
breath and freedom of nature, healthy exercise, love 
and sympathy, and, above all, a deep understanding 
for the needs of the child — ^these would destroy the 
cruel, unjust, and criminal stigma imposed on the 
innocent young. 

Paul Robin did not select his children; he did 
not go to the so-called best parents: he took his 


material wherever he could find it. From the street^ 
the hovels, the orphan and foundling asylums, the 
reformatories, from all those gray and hideous places 
where a benevolent society hides its victims in order 
to pacify its guilty conscience. He gathered all 
the dirty, filthy, shivering little waifs his place 
would hold, and brought them to Cempuis. There, 
surrounded by nature's own glory, free and unre- 
strained, well fed, dean kept, deeply loved and un- 
derstood, the little himian plants be^an to grow, to 
blossom, to develop beyond even the expectations of 
their friend and teacher, Paul Robin. 

The children grew and developed into self-reliant, 
liberty loving men and women. What greater danger 
to the institutions that make the poor in order to 
perpetuate the poor. Cempuis was closed by the 
French government on the charge of co-education, 
which is prohibited in France. However, Cempuis 
had been in operation long enough to prove to all 
advanced educators its tremendous possibilities, and 
to serve as an impetus for modem methods of edu- 
cation, that are slowly but inevitably undermining 
the present system. 

Cempius was followed by a great number of other 
educational attempts, — ^among them, by Madelaine 
Vemet, a gifted writer and poet, author of F Amour 
Libre, and Sebastian Faure, with his La Ruche,* 
which I visited while in Paris, in 1907. 

Several years ago Comrade Faure bought the land 
on which he built his La Ruche. In a comparatively 

*The Beehive. 


short time he succeede<} in transforming the former 
wild, uncultivated country into a blooming spot, hav- 
ing all the appearance of a well kept farm. A large, 
square court, enclosed by three buildings, and a broad 
path leading to the garden and orchards, greet the 
eye of the visitor. The garden, kept as only a French- 
man knows how, furnishes a large variety of veg- 
etables for La Ruche, 

Sebastian Faure is of the opinion that if the child 
is subjected to contradictory influences, its develop- 
ment suffers in consequence. Only when the ma- 
terial needs, the hygiene of the home, and intellectual 
environment are harmonious, can the child grow into 
a healthy, free being. 

Referring to his school, Sebastian Faure has this 
to say: 

"I have taken twenty-four children of both sexes, 
mostly orphans, or those whose parents are too poor 
to pay. They are clothed, housed, and educated at 
my expense. Till their twelfth year they will re- 
ceive a soimd, elementary education. Between the 
age of twelve and fifteen — their studies still continu- 
ing — ^they are to be taught some trade, in keeping 
with their individual disposition and abilities. After 
that they are at liberty to leave La Ruche to begin 
life in the outside world, with the assurance that 
they may at any time return to La Ruche, where 
they will be received with open arms and welcomed 
as parents do their beloved children. Then, if they 
wish to work at our place, they may do so under 
the following conditions: One third of the product 
to cover his or her expenses of maintenance, another 


third to go towards the general fund set aside for 
accommodating new children, and the last third to be 
devoted to the personal use of the child, as he or 
she may see fit. 

The health of the children who are now in my 
care is perfect. Pure air, nutritious food, physical 
exercise in the open, long walks, observation of hy- 
gienic rules, the short and interesting method of in- 
struction, and, above all, our affectionate understand- 
ing and care of the children, have produced admirable 
physical and mental results. 

It would be unjust to claim that our pupils have 
accomplished wonders; yet, considering that they be- 
long to the average, having had no previous oppor- 
tunities, the results are very gratifying indeed. The 
most important thing they have acquired — a, rare trait 
with ordinary school children — ^is the love of study, 
the desire to know, to be informed. They have 
learned a new method of work, one that qtiickens 
the memory and stimulates the imagination. We 
make a particular effort to awaken the child's in- 
terest in his surroundings, to make him realize the 
importance of observation, investigation, and reflec- 
tion, so that when the children reach maturity, they 
would not be deaf and blind to the things about 
them. Our children never accept anything in blind 
faith, without inquiry as to why and wherefore; nor 
do they feel satisfied until their questions are thor- 
oughly answered. Thus their minds are free from 
doubts and fear resultant from incomplete or un- 
truthful replies ; it is tiie latter which warp the growth 


of the child, and create a lack of confidence in him- 
self and those about him. 

It is surprising how frank and kind and affec- 
tionate our little ones are to each other. The harmony 
between themselves and the adults at La Ruche is 
highly encouraging. We should feel at fault if the 
children were to fear or honor us merely because 
we are their elders. We leave nothing undone to 
gain their confidence and love; that accomplished, 
understanding will replace duty; confidence, fear; and 
affection, severity. 

No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sym- 
pathy, kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul 
of the child. The effort of every true educator should 
be to unlock that treasure — ^to stimulate the child's 
impulses, and call forth the best and noblest tendencies. 
What greater reward can there be for one whose 
life-work is to watch over the growth of the human 
plant, than to see its nature unfold its petals, and 
to observe it develop into a true individuality. My 
comrades at La Ruche look for no greater reward, 
and it is due to them and their efforts, even more 
than to my own, that our human garden promises to 
bear beautiful fruit."* 

Regarding the subject of history and the prevail- 
ing old methods of instruction, Sebastian Faure said : 

"We explain to our children that true history is 
yet to be written, — ^the story of those who have 
died, unknown, in the effort to aid humanity to greater 
achievement." f 

* Mother Earth, 1907. 



Francisco Ferrer could not escape this great wave 
of Modem School attempts. He saw its possibilities, 
not merely in theoretic form, but in their practical ap- 
plication to every-day needs. He must have realized 
that Spain, more than any other country, stands in 
need of just such schools, if it is ever to throw 
off the double yoke of priest and soldier. 

When we consider that the entire system of edu- 
cation in Spain is in the hands of the Catholic Church, 
and when we further remember the Catholic formula, 
"To inculcate Catholicism in the mind of the child 
until it is nine years of age is to ruin it forever 
for any other idea," we will understand the tre- 
mendous task of Ferrer in bringing the new light 
to his people. Fate soon assisted him in realizing 
his great dream. 

Mile. Meunier, a pupil of Francisco Ferrer, and a 
lady of wealth, became interested in the Modem 
School project When she died, she left Ferrer scnne 
valuable property and twelve thousand francs yearly 
income for the School. 

It is said that mean souls can conceive of naught 
but mean ideas. If so, the contemptible methods of 
the Catholic Church to blackguard Ferrer's character, 
in order to justify her own black crime, can readily 
be explained. Thus the lie was spread in American 
Catholic papers, that Ferrer used his intimacy with 
Mile. Meunier to get possession of her money. 

Personally, I hold that the intimacy, of what- 
ever nature, between a man and a woman, is their 
own affair, their sacred own. I would therefore not 
lose a word in referring to the matter, if it were 


not one of the many dastardly lies circtdated about 
Ferrer. Of course, those who know the purity of 
the Catholic clergy will understand the insinuation. 
Have the Catholic priests ever looked upon woman as 
anything but a sex commodity? The historical data 
regarding the discoveries in the cloisters and mon- 
asteries will bear me out in that. How^ then^ are 
they to understand the co-operation of a man and 
a woman, except on a sex basis? 

As a matter of fact. Mile. Meunier was consid- 
erably Ferrer's senior. Having spent her childhood 
and girlhood with a miserly father and a submissive 
mother, she could easily appreciate the necessity of 
love and joy in child life. She must have seen that 
Francisco Ferrer was a teacher, not. .college, machine, 
or diploma-made, but one endowed with genius for 
that calling. 

Equipped with knowledge, with experience, and 
with the necessary means; above all, imbued with 
the divine iire of his mission, our Comrade came 
back to Spain, and there began his life's work. On 
the ninth of September, 1901, the first Modem School 
was opened. It was enthusiastically received by the 
people of Barcelona, who pledged their support. In 
a short address at the opening of the School, Ferrer 
submitted his program to his friends. He said: "I 
am not a speaker, not a propagandist, not a fighter. 
I am a teacher; I love children above eversrthing. 
I think I understand them. I want my contribution 
to the cause of liberty to be a young generation ready 
to meet a new era." 


He was cautioned by his friends to be careful in 
his opposition to the Catholic Church. They knew 
to what lengths she would go to dispose of an enemy. 
Ferrer, too, knew. But, like Brand, he believed in 
all or nothing. He would not erect the Modem 
School on the same old lie. He would be frank 
and honest and open with the children. 

Francisco Ferrer became a marked man. From 
the very first day of the opening of the School, he 
was shadowed. The school building was watched, 
his little home in Mangat was watched. He was fol- 
lowed every step, even when he went to France or 
England to confer with his colleagues. He was a 
marked man, and it was only a question of time 
when the lurking enemy would tighten the noose. 

It succeeded, almost, in 1906, when Ferrer was 
implicated in the attempt on the life of Alfonso. The 
evidence exonerating him was too strong even for 
the black crows;* they had to let him go — ^not for 
good, however. They waited. Oh, they can wait, 
when they have set themselves to trap a victim. 

The moment came at last, during the anti-military 
uprising in Spain, in July, 1909. One will have to search 
in vain the annals of revolutionary history to find a 
more remarkable protest against militarism. Hav- 
ing been soldier-ridden for centuries, the people of 
Spain could stand the yoke no longer. They would 
refuse to participate in useless slaughter. They saw 
no reason for aiding a despotic government in sub- 
duing and a small people oppressing fighting^ for 

* Black crows: The Catholic clergy. 


their independence, as did the brave Riflfs. No, they 
would not bear arms against them. 

For eighteen hundred years the Catholic Church 
has preached the gospel of peace. Yet, when the 
people actually wanted to make this gospel a living 
reality, she urged the authorities to force them to 
bear arms. Thus the d)masty of Spain followed the 
murderous methods of the Russian dynasty, — ^the 
people were forced to the battlefield. 

Then, and not until then, was their power of 
endurance at an end. Then, and not until then, did 
the workers of Spain turn against their masters, 
against those who, like leeches, had drained their 
strength, their very life-blood. Yes, they attacked 
the churches and the priests, but if the latter had a 
thousand lives, they could not possibly pay for 
the terrible outrages and crimes perpetrated upon the 
Spanish people. 

Francisco Ferrer was arrested on the first of 
September, 1909. Until October first, his friends 
and comrades did not even know what had be- 
come of him. On that day a letter was received 
by UHumanite, from which can be learned the 
whole mockery of the trial. And the next day his 
companion, Soledad Villafranca, received the follow- 
ing letter: 

"No reason to worry; you know I am abso- 
lutely innocent. Today I am particularly hopeful 
and joyous. It is the first time I can write to 
you, and the first time since my arrest that I can 
bathe in the rays of the sun, streaming generously 


through my cell window. You, too, must be 

How pathetic that Ferrer should have believed, 
as late as October fourth, that he would not be 
condemned to death. Even more pathetic that 
his friends and comrades should once more have 
made the blunder in crediting the enemy with a 
sense of justice. Time and again they had placed 
faith in the judicial powers, only to see their 
brothers killed before their very eyes. They made 
no preparation to rescue Ferrer, not even a pro- 
test of any extent; nothing. "Why, it is impos- 
sible to condemn Ferrer; he is innocent." But every- 
thing is possible with the Catholic Church. Is she 
not a practiced henchman, whose trials of her enemies 
are the worst mockery of justice? 

On October fourth Ferrer sent the following letter 
to UHumamti: 

"The Prison Cell, Oct. 4, 1909. 

My dear Friends — Notwithstanding most abscdute 
innocence, the prosecutor demands the death penalty, 
based on denunciations of the police, representing me 
as the chief of the world's Anarchists, directing the 
labor syndicates of France, and guilty of conspiracies 
and insurrections everywhere, and declaring that my 
voyages to London and Paris were undertaken with 
no other object. 

With such infamous lies they arc tr)ring to kill 

The messenger is about to depart and I have not 
time for more. All the evidence presented to the 


investigating judge by the police is nothing but a 
tissue of lies and calumnious insinuations. But no 
proofs against me, having done nothing at all. 


October thirteenth, 1909, Ferrer's heart, so brave, 
so staunch, so loyal, was stilled. Poor fools! The 
last agonized throb of that heart had barely died 
away when it began to beat a hundredfold in the 
hearts of the civilized world, until it grew into ter- 
rific thunder, hurling forth its malediction upon the 
instigators of the black crime. Murderers of black 
g^rb and pious mien, to the bar of justice I 

Did Francisco Ferrer participate in the anti-mil- 
itary uprising? According to the first indictment, 
which appeared in a Catholic paper in Madrid, signed 
by the Bishop and all the prelates of Barcelona, he 
was not even accused of participation. The indict- 
ment was to the effect that Francisco Ferrer was 
guilty of having organized godless schools, and hav- 
ing circulated godless literature. But in the twentieth 
century men can not be burned merely for their 
godless beliefs. Something else had to be devised; 
hence the charge of instigating the uprising. 

In no authentic source so far investigated could 
a single proof be found to connect Ferrer with the 
uprising. But then, no proofs were wanted, or ac- 
cepted, by the authorities. There were seventy-two 
witnesses, to be sure, but their testimony was taken 
on paper. They never were confronted with Ferrer, 
or he with them. 

Is it psychologically possible that Ferrer should 
have participated ? I do not believe it is, and here are 


my reasons. Francisco Ferrer was not only a great 
teacher, but he was also undoubtedly a marvelous 
organizer. In eight years, between 1901-1909, he had 
organized in Spain one hundred and nine schools, 
besides inducing the liberal element of his country 
to organize three hundred and eight other schools. 
In connection with his own school work, Ferrer had 
equipped a modem printing plant, organized a staff 
of translators, and spread broadcast one hundred and 
fifty thousand copies of modem scientific and so- 
ciologic works, not to forget the large quantity of 
rationalist text books. Surely none but the most 
methodical and efficient organizer could have accom- 
plished such a feat. 

On the other hand, it was absolutely proven that 
the anti-military uprising was not at all organized; 
that it came as a surprise to the people them- 
selves, like a great many revolutionary waves on 
previous occasions. The people of Barcelona, for 
instance, had the city in their control for four days, 
and, according to the statement of tourists, greater 
order and peace never prevailed. Of course, the 
people were so little prepared that when the time 
came, they did not know what to do. In this regard 
they were like the people of Paris during the Com- 
mune of 1871. They, too, were unprepared. While 
they were starving, they protected the warehouses, 
filled to the brim with provisions. They placed sen- 
tinels to guard the Bank of France, where the bour- 
geoisie kept the stolen money. The workers of 
Barcelona, too, watched over the spoils of their 


How pathetic is the stupidity of the underdog; 
how terribly tragic I But, then, have not his fetters 
been forged so deeply into his flesh, that he would 
not, even if he could, break them? The awe of au- 
thority, of law, of private property, hundredfold 
burned into his soul, — ^how is he to throw it off un- 
prepared, unexpectedly? 

Can anyone assume for a moment that a man 
like Ferrer would affiliate himself with such a spon- 
taneous, unorganized effort? Would he not have 
known that it would result in a defeat, a disastrous 
defeat for the people? And is it not more likely 
that if he would have taken part, he, the experienced 
entrepreneur, would have thoroughly organized the 
attempt? If all other proofs were lacking, that one 
factor would be sufficient to exonerate Francisco 
Ferrer. But there are others equally convincing. 

For the very date of the outbreak, July twenty- 
fifth, Ferrer had called a conference of his teachers 
and members of the League of Rational Education. 
It was to consider the autumn work, and particularly 
the publication of Elisee Reclus' great book, UHomme 
et la Terre, and Peter Kropotkin's Great French Revo- 
lution. Is it at all likely, is it at all plausible that 
Ferrer, knowing of the uprising, being a party to 
it, would in cold blood invite his friends and col- 
leagues to Barcelona for the day on which he realized 
their lives would be endangered? Surely, only the 
criminal, vicious mind of a Jesuit could credit such 
deliberate murder. 

Francisco Ferrer has his life-work mapped out; 
he had everything to lose and nothing to gain, except 


ruin and disaster, were he to lend assistance to the 
outbreak. Not that he doubted the justice of the 
people's wrath; but his work, his hope, his very nature 
was directed toward another goal. 

In vain are the frantic efforts of the Catholic 
Church, her lies, falsehoods, calumnies. She stands 
condemned by the awakened human conscience of 
having once more repeated the foul crimes of the 

Francisco Ferrer is accused of teaching the chil- 
dren the most blood-curdling ideas, — ^to hate God, for 
instance. Horrors ! Francisco Ferrer did not believe 
in the existence of a God. Why teach the child to 
hate something which does not exist? Is it not more 
likely that he took the children out into the open, 
that he showed them the splendor of the sunset, the 
brilliancy of the starry heavens, the awe-inspiring 
wonder of the mountains and seas ; that he explained 
to them in his simple, direct way the law of growth, 
of development, of the interrelation of all life? In 
so doing he made it forever impossible for the poison- 
ous weeds of the Catholic Church to take root in the 
child's mind. 

It has been stated that Ferrer prepared the chil- 
dren to destroy the rich. Ghost stories of old maids. 
Is it not more likely that he prepared them to succor 
the poor? That he taught them the humiliation, the 
degfradation, the awfulness of poverty, which is a 
vice and not a virtue; that he taught the dignity and 
importai^ce of all creative efforts, which alone sustain 
life and build character. Is it not the best and most 


effective way of bringing into the proper light the 
absolute uselessness and injury of parasitism? 

Last, but not least, Ferrer is charged with under- 
mining the army by inculcating anti-military ideas. 
Indeed? He must have believed with Tolstoy that 
war is legalized slaughter, that it perpetuates hatred 
and arrogance, that it eats away the heart of nations, 
and turns them into raving maniacs. 

However, we have Ferrer's own word regarding 
his ideas of modem education : 

"I would like to call the attention of my readers 
to this idea: All the value of education rests in the 
respect for the physical, intellectual, and moral will 
of the child. Just as in science no demonstration is 
possible save by facts, just so there is no real edu- 
cation save that which is exempt from all dogmatism, 
which leaves to the child itself the direction of its 
effort, and confines itself to the seconding of its 
effort Now, there is nothing easier than to alter 
this purpose, and nothing harder than to respect it. 
Education is always imposing, violating, constrain- 
ing; the real educator is he who can best protect 
the child against his (the teacher's) own ideas, his 
peculiar whims ; he who can best appeal to the child's 
own energies. 

We are convinced that the education of the future 
will be of an entirely spontaneous nature; certainly 
we can not as yet realize it, but the evolution of 
methods in the direction of a wider comprehension 
of the phenomena of life, and the fact that all ad- 
vances toward perfection mean the overcoming of 
restraint, — all this indicates that we are in the right 


when we hope for the deliverance of the child through 

Let us not fear to say that we want men capable 
of evolving without stopping, capable of destroying 
and renewing their environments without cessation, of 
renewing themselves also; men, whose intellectual in- 
dependence will be their greatest force, who will at- 
tach themselves to nothing, always ready to accept 
what is best, happy in the triumph of new ideas, 
aspiring to live multiple lives in one life. Society 
fears such men; we therefore must not hope that it 
will ever want an education able to give them to us. 

We shall follow the labors of the scientists who 
study the child with the greatest attention, and we 
shall eagerly seek for means of applying their ex* 
perience to the education which we want to build up, 
in the direction of an ever fuller liberation of the 
individual. But how can we attain our end? Shall 
it not be by putting ourselves directly to the work 
favoring the foundation of new schools, which shall 
be ruled as much as possible by this spirit of liberty, 
which we forefeel will dominate the entire work of 
education in the future? 

A trial has been made whidi, for the present, has 
already given excellent results. We can destroy all 
which in the present school answers to the organiza- 
tion of constraint, the artificial surroundings by which 
children are separated from nature and life, the in- 
tellectual and moral discipline made use of to impose 
ready-made ideas upon them, beliefs which deprave 
and annihilate natural bent. Without fear of decdv- 
ing ourselves, we can restore the child to the environ- 


ment which entices it, the environment of nature in 
which he will be in contact with all that he loves, 
and in which impressions of life will replace fastidi- 
ous book-learning. If we did no more than that, we 
should already have prepared in great part the de- 
liverance of the child. 

In such conditions we might already freely apply 
the data of science and labor most fruitfully. 

I know very well we could not thus realize all 
our hopes, that we should often be forced, for lack 
of knowledge, to employ undesirable methods; but 
a certitude would sustain us in our efforts — ^namely, 
that even without reaching our aim completely we 
should do more and better in our still imperfect work 
than the present school accomplishes. I like the free 
spontaneity of a child who knows nothing, better 
than the world-knowledge* and intellectual deformity 
of a child who has been subjected to our present 

Had Ferrer actually organized the riots, had he 
fought on the barricades, had he hurled a hundred 
bombs, he could not have been so dangerous to the 
Catholic Church and to despotism, as with his opposi- 
tion to discipline and restraint. Discipline and re- 
straint — ^are they not back of all the evils in the world? 
Slavery, submission, poverty, all misery, all social in- 
iquities result from discipline and restraint. Indeed, 
Ferrer was dangerous. Therefore he had to die, Oc- 
tober thirteenth, 1909, in the ditch of Montjuich. 
Yet who dare say his death was in vain? In view 

* Mother Earth, December, 1909. 


of fte tempestuous rise of universal indignation : Italy 
naming streets in memory of Francisco Ferrer, Bd- 
gitmi inaugurating a movement to erect a memorial; 
France calling to the front her most illustrious men 
to resume the heritage of the martyr; England being 
the first to issue a biography: — ^all countries uniting 
in perpetuating the great work of Francisco Ferrer; 
America, even, tardy always in progressive ideas, has 
given birth to a Francisco Ferrer Association, its 
aim being to publish a complete life of Ferrer and 
to organize Modern Schools all over the country; in 
the face of this international revolutionary wave, who 
is there to say Ferrer died in vain? 

That death at Montjuich, — ^how wonderful, how 
dramatic it was, how it stirs the human soul. Proud 
and erect, the inner eye turned toward the light, 
Francisco Ferrer needed no l)dng priests to give him 
courage, nor did he upbraid a phantom for forsaking 
him. The consciousness that his executioners repre- 
sented a dying age, and that his was the living truth, 
sustained him in the last heroic moments. 

A dying age and a living truth, 
The living bursdng the dead. 


Speaking of Puritanism in relation to American art, 
Mr. Gutzen Burglum said : "Puritanism has made us 
self-centered and hypocritical for so long, that sin- 
cerity and reverence for what is natural in our im- 
pulses have been fairly bred out of us, with the result 
that there can be neither truth nor individuality in 
our art." 

Mr. Burglum might have added that Puritanism 
has made life itself impossible. More than art, more 
than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand 
variations ; it is, indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal 
change. Puritanism, on the other hand, rests on a 
fixed and immovable conception of life ; it is based on 
the Calvinistic idea that life is a ctirse, imposed upon 
man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem him- 
self man must do constant penance, must repudiate 
every natural and healthy impulse, and turn his back 
on joy and beauty. 

Puritanism celebrated its reign of terror in Eng- 
land during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 
destroying and crushing every manifestation of art 
and culture. It was the spirit of Puritanism which 


robbed Shelley of his children, because he would not 
bow to the dicta of religion. It was the same narrow 
spirit which alienated Byron from his native land, be- 
cause that great genius rebelled against the monotony, 
dullness, and pettiness of his country. It was Puritan- 
ism, too, that forced some of England's freest women 
into the conventional lie of marriage: Mary WoUstone- 
craft and, later, George Eliot And recently Puritan- 
ism has demanded another toll — the life of Oscar 
Wilde. In fact, Puritanism has never ceased to be 
the most pernicious factor in the domain of John Bull, 
acting as censor of the artistic expression of his peo- 
ple, and stamping its approval only on the dullness of 
middle-class respectability. 

It is therefore sheer British jingoism which points 
to America as the country of Puritanic provincialism. 
It is quite true that our life is stunted by Puritanism, 
and that the latter is killing what is natural and healthy 
in our impulses. But it is equally true that it is to 
England that we are indebted for transplanting this 
spirit on American soil. It was bequeathed to us by 
the Pilgrim fathers. Fleeing from persecution and 
oppression, the Pilgrims of Mayflower fame estab- 
lished in the New World a reign of Puritanic tyranny 
and crime. The history of New England, and espe- 
cially of Massachusetts, is full of the horrors that have 
turned life into gloom, joy into despair, naturalness into 
disease, honesty and truth into hideous lies and hypoc- 
risies. The ducking-stool and whipping post, as well 
as nqmerous other devices of torture, were the favorite 
English methods for American purification. 

Boston, the city of culture, has gone down in the 


annals of Puritanism as the "Bloody Town." It rivaled 
Salem, even, in her cruel persecution of unauthorized 
religious opinions. On the now famous Common a 
half-naked woman, with a baby in her arms, was pub- 
licly whipped for the crime of free speech ; and on the 
same spot Mary Dyer, another Quaker woman, was 
hanged in 1659. In fact, Boston has been the scene 
of more than one wanton crime committed by Puri- 
tanism. Salem, in the summer of 1692, killed eighteen 
people for witchcraft. Nor was Massachusetts alone 
in driving out tiie deyil by fire and brimstone. As 
Canning justly said: "The Pilgrim fathers infested 
the New World to redress the balance of the Old/* 
The horrors of that period have found their most 
supreme expression in the American classic, The Scar- 
let Letter. 

Puritanism no longer employs the thumbscrew and 
lash; but it still has a most pernicious hold on the 
minds and feelings of the American people. Naught 
else can explain the power of a Comstock. Like the 
Torquemadas of ante-bellum days, Anthony Comstock 
is the autocrat of American morals; he dictates the 
standards of good and evil, of purity and vice. Like a 
thief in the night he sneaks into the private lives of 
the people, into their most intimate relations. The 
system of espionage established by this man Comstock 
puts to shame the infamous Third Division of the 
Russian secret police. Why does the public tolerate 
such an outrage on its liberties ? Simply because Com- 
stock is but the loud expression of the Puritanism bred 
in the Anglo-Saxon blood, and from whose thraldom 
even liberals have not succeeded in fully emancipating 



themselves. The visionless and leaden elements of the 
old Young Men's and Women's Christian Temperance 
Unions, Purity Leagues, American Sabbath Unions, 
and the Prohibition Party, with Anthony Comstock as 
their patron saint, are the grave diggers of American 
art and culture. 

Europe can at least boast of a bold art and liter- 
ature which delve deeply into the social and sexual 
problems of our time, exercising a severe critique of 
all our shams. As with a surgeon's knife every Pu- 
ritanic carcass is dissected, and the way thus cleared 
for man's liberation from the dead weights of the past. 
But with Puritanism as the constant check upon 
American life, neither truth nor sincerity is possible. 
Nothing but gloom and mediocrity to dictate human 
conduct, curtail natural expression, and stifle our best 
impulses. Puritanism in this the twentieth century 
is as much the enemy of freedom and beauty as it was 
when it landed on Plymouth Rock. It repudiates, as 
something vile and sinful, our deepest feelings; but 
being absolutely ignorant as to the real functions of 
human emotions, Puritanism is itself the creator of 
the most unspeakable vices. 

The entire history of asceticism proves this to be 
only too true. The Church, as well as Puritanism, has 
fought the flesh as something evil; it had to be sub- 
dued and hidden at all cost. The result of this vicious 
attitude is only now beginning to be recognized by 
modem thinkers and educators. They realize that 
"nakedness has a hygienic value as well as a spiritual 
significance, far beyond its influences in allaying the 
natural inquisitiveness of the young or acting as a 


preventatiire of morbid emotion. It is an inspiration 
to adults who have long outgrown any youthful curi- 
osities. The vision of the essential and eternal human 
form, the nearest thing to us in all the world, with its 
vigor and its beauty and its grace, is one of the prime 
tonics of life."* But the spirit of purism has so per- 
verted the human mind that it has lost the power to 
appreciate the beauty of nudity, forcing us to hide the 
natural form under the plea of chastity. Yet chastity 
itself is but an artificial imposition upon nature, ex- 
pressive of a false shame of the human form. The 
modem idea of chastity, especially in reference to 
woman, its greatest victim, is but the sensuous exag- 
geration of our natural impulses. "Chastity varies with 
the amount of clothing," and hence Christians and 
purists forever hasten to cover the "heathen" with 
tatters, and thus convert him to goodness and chas- 

Puritanism, with its perversion of the significance 
and functions of the human body, especially in regard 
to woman, has condemned her to celibacy, or to the 
indiscriminate breeding of a diseased race, or to prosti- 
tution. The enormity of this crime against humanity 
is apparent when we consider the results. Absolute 
sexual continence is imposed upon the unmarried 
w<Mnan, under pain of being considered immoral or 
fallen, with the result of producing neurasthenia, im- 
potence, depression, and a great variety of nervous 
complaints involving diminished power of work, lim- 
ited enjoyment of life, sleepnessness, and preoccupation 

* The Psychology of Sex, Havelock Ellis. 


with sexual desires and imaginings. The arbitrary 
and pernicious dictum of total contin^ice probably also 
explains the mental inequality of the sexes. Thus 
Freud believes that the intellectual inferiority of so 
many women is due to the inhibition of thought im- 
posed upon them for the purpose of sexual repression. 
Having thus suppressed the natural sex desires of the 
unmarried woman, Puritanism, on the other hand, 
blesses her married sister for incontinent fruitfulness 
in wedlock. Indeed, not merely blesses her, but forces 
the woman, oversexed by previous repression, to bear 
children, irrespective of weakened physical condition or 
economic inability to rear a large family. Prevention, 
even by scientifically determined safe methods, is ab- 
solutely prohibited ; nay, the very mention of the sub- 
ject is considered criminal. 

Thanks to this Puritanic t3rranny, the majority of 
women soon find themselves at the ebb of their phys- 
ical resources. Ill and worn, they are utterly unaUe 
to give their children even elementary care. That, 
added to economic pressure, forces many women to 
risk utmost danger rather than continue to bring forth 
life. The custom of procuring abortions has reached 
such vast proportions in America as to be almost be- 
yond belief. According to recent investigations along 
this line, seventeen abortions are committed in every 
hundred pregnancies. This fearful percentage repre- 
sents only cases which come to the knowledge of 
physicians. Considering the secrecy in which this prac- 
tice is necessarily shrouded, and the consequent pro- 
fessional inefficiency and neglect, Puritanism continu- 


ously exacts thousands of victims to its own stupidity 
and hypocrisy. 

Prostitution, although hounded, imprisoned, and 
chained, is nevertheless the greatest triumph of Puri- 
tanism. It is its most cherished child, all hypocritical 
sanctimoniousness notwithstanding. The prostitute is 
the fury of our century, sweeping across the "civilized" 
countries like a hurricane, and leaving a trail of dis- 
ease and disaster. The only remedy Puritanism offers 
for this ill-begotten child is greater repression and 
more merciless persecution. The latest outrage is rep- 
resented by the Page Law, which imposes upon New 
York the terrible failure and crime of Europe; 
namely, registration and seggregation of the unfor- 
tunate victims of Puritanism. In equally stupid man- 
ner purism seeks to check the terrible scourge of its 
own creation — ^venereal diseases. Most disheartening 
it is that this spirit of obtuse narrow-mindedness has 
poisoned even our so-called liberals, and has blinded 
them into joining the crusade against the very things 
bom of the hypocrisy of Puritanism— prostitution and 
its results. In wilful blindness Puritanism refuses to 
see that the true method of prevention is the one which 
makes it clear to all that "venereal diseases are not a 
mysterious or terrible thing, the penalty of the sin of 
the flesh, a sort of shameful evil branded by purist 
malediction, but an ordinary disease which may be 
treated and cured." By its methods of obscurity, dis- 
guise, and concealment, Puritanism has furnished fa- 
vorable conditions for the growth and spread of these 
diseases. Its bigotry is again most strikingly demon- 
strated by the senseless attitude in regard to the great 


discovery of Prof. Ehrlich, hypocrisy veiling the im- 
portant cure for syphilis with vague allusions to a 
remedy for "a certain poison." 

The almost limitless capacity of Puritanism for 
evil is due to its intrenchment behind the State and 
the law. Pretending to safeguard the people against 
"immorality," it has impregnated the madiinery of 
government and added to its usurpation of moral guar- 
dianship the legal censorship of our views, feelings, 
and even of our conduct. 

Art, literature, the drama, the privacy of the mails, 
in fact, our most intimate tastes, are at the mercy of 
this inexorable t3rrant. Anthony Comstock, or some 
other equally ignorant policeman, has been given power 
to desecrate genius, to soil and mutilate the sublimest 
creation of nature — ^the human form. Books dealing 
with the most vital issues of our lives, and seeking to 
shed light upon dangerously obscured problems, are 
legally treated as criminal offenses, and their helpless 
authors thrown into prison or driven to destruction 
and death. 

Not even in the domain of the Tsar is personal 
liberty daily outraged to the extent it is in America, 
the stronghold of the Puritanic eunuchs. Here the 
only day of recreation left to the masses, Sunday, has 
been made hideous and utterly impossible. All writers 
on primitive customs and ancient civilizations agree 
that the Sabbath was a day of festivities, free from 
care and duties, a day of general rejoicing and merry- 
making. In every European country, this tradition 
continues to bring some relief from the humdrum and 
stupidity of our Christian era. Everywhere concert 


halls, theaters, museums, and gardens are filled with 
men, women, and children, particularly workers with 
their families, full of life and joy, forgetful of the 
ordinary rules and conventions of their every-day ex- 
istence. It is on that day that the masses demonstrate 
what life might really mean in a sane society, with 
work stripped of its profit-making, soul-destroying 

Puritanism has robbed the people even of that one 
day. Naturally, only the workers are affected: our 
millionaires have their luxurious homes and elaborate 
clubs. The poor, however, are condemned to the 
monotony and dullness of the American Sunday. The 
sociability and fun of European outdoor life is here 
exchanged for the gloom of the church, the stuffy, 
germ-saturated country parlor, or the brutalizing at- 
mosphere of the back-room saloon. In Prohibition 
States the people lack even the latter, unless they can 
invest their meager earnings in quantities of adulter- 
ated liquor. As to Prohibition, every one knows what 
a farce it really is. Like all other achievements of 
Puritanism it, too, has but driven the "deviF' deeper 
into the human system. Nowhere else does one meet so 
many drunkards as in our Prohibition towns. But 
so long as one can use scented candy to abate the foul 
breath of hypocrisy, Puritanism is triumphant. Os- 
tensibly Prohibition is opposed to liquor for reasons 
of health and economy, but the very spirit of Prohi- 
bition being itself abnormal, it succeeds but in creat- 
ing an abnormal life. 

Every stimulus which quickens the imagination 
and raises the spirits, is as necessary to our life as air. 


It invigorates the body, and deepens our vision of 
human fellowship. Without stimuli, in one form or 
another, creative work is impossible, nor indeed the 
spirit of kindliness and generosity. The fact that 
some great geniuses have seen their reflection in the 
goblet too frequently, does not justify Puritanism in 
attempting to fetter the whole gamut of human emo- 
tions. A Byron and a Poe have stirred humanity 
deeper than all the Puritans can ever hope to do. The 
former have given to life meaning and color; the 
latter are turning red blood into water, beauty into 
ugliness, variety into uniformity and decay. Puritan- 
ism, in whatever expression, is a poisonous germ. 
On the surface everything may look strong and vigor- 
ous; yet the poison works its way persistenly, until 
the entire fabric is doomed. With Hippolyte Taine, 
every truly free spirit has come to realize that "Pu- 
ritanism is the death of culture, philosophy, htmior, 
and good fellowship; its characteristics are dullness, 
monotony, and gloom." 



Our reformers have suddenly made a great dis- 
covery — ^the white slave traffic. The papers are full 
of these "unheard of conditions," and lawmakers are 
already plsgmiog a new set of laws to check the 

It is significant that whenever the public mind 
is to be diverted from a great social wrong, a cru- 
sade is inaugurated against indecency, gambling, 
saloons, etc. And what is the result of such cru- 
sades? Gambling is increasing, saloons are doing 
a lively business through back entrances, prostitution 
is at its height, and the system of pimps and cadets 
is but aggravated. 

How is it that an institution, known almost to 
every child, should have been discovered so suddenly? 
How is it that this evil, known to all sociologists, 
should now be made such an important issue? 

To assume that the recent investigation of the 
white slave traffic (and, by the way, a very super- 
ficial investigation) has discovered anything new, is, 
to say the least, very foolish. Prostitutionjiasbeen, 
yH -^j a y^(f^<^prfar^ ^yil yet mankind goes on its 



business, perfectly indifferent to the sufferi ngs and 
distress of the victim s of orostituticMi. As ind ifferent, 
indeed, as mankindnBas remained t o ou r industrial 
sysfQHri>r to ec onomic prosn iutionr" ^ 

Only when human sorrows are turned into a toy 
with glaring colors will baby people become inter- 
ested — for a while at least. The people are a very 
fickle baby that must have new toys every day. The 
"righteous" cry against the white slave traffic is such 
a toy. It serves to amuse the people for a little 
while, and it will help to create a few more fat political 
jobs — parasites who stalk about the world as in- 
spectors, investigators, detectives, and so forth. 

What is really the cause of the trade ^n women ? 
Not merely white women, but yellow and black 

women as well. Fypjojtatinn, ni mt irse; th^j nerd- 

Mfss MHf;>rh nf fapita^<«"^-that fattens _Q iL-4mderpaid 
labor, t hus driving thous ands f)i w£im£tn^ ^mj^ girls 
i nto prostitutio n. W ith ^yg, Warr en jhese-girls f^ 
"W hy waste your life wor kjpg^or a^few-^hillings 
a week in a scullery, eighteen hours a (lay?" 
X Naturally our reformers say nothing about this 
cause. They know it well enough, but it doesn't 
pay to say anything about it. It is much more profit- 
able to play the Pharisee, to pretend an outraged 
morality, than to go to the bottom of thing^. 

However, there is one commendable exception 
among the young writers: Reginald Wright Kauff- 
man, whose work. The House of Bondage, is the 
first earnest attempt to treat the social evil, not from 
a sentimental Philistine viewpoint. A journalist of 
wide experience, Mr. Kauffman proves tiiat our in- 



dustrial system leaves most women no alternative ex- 
cept prostitution. The women portrayed in The 
House of Bondage belong to the working class. Had 
the author portrayed the life of women in other 
spheres, he would have been confronted with the 
same state of affairs. 

N owh ^r ^ i s wi^man tr^ntf f1 nfirording to thf mf rit 
of ,hflr wnrkj hut ^^th^r ^g a <^^^ ^ is therefor 
almost^pvitahle t hat she should pay for -JiOL righ 
tc t e xi st> le^eep -a po s ition in whatever lino, wit 
sex-faxQTS. Thus it is merely a question of degr 
whether she sells herself to one man, in or out of 
marriage, or to many men. Whether our reformers 
admit it or pot, the economic and - sodal inferiority 

of woman is ftfgp<^"5<^V f9^ prn.QtifiittnTi 

Just at present our good people are shocked by 
the disclosures that in New York City alone, one 
out of every ten women works in a factory, that 
the average wage received by women is six doUarsr 
per week for forty-eight to sixty hours of work, and 
that the majority of female wage workers face many 
months of idleness which leaves the average wage 
about $280 a year. In view of these economic hor- 
rors, is it to be wondered at that prostitution and 
the white slave trade have become such dominant 
factors ? 

Lest the preceding figures be considered an ex- 
aggeration, it is well to examine what some author- 
ities on prostitution have to say: 

"A prolific cause of female depravity can be found 
in the several tables, showing the description of the 
employment pursued, and the wages received, by the 






women previous to their fall, and it will be a ques- 
tion for the political economist to decided how far 
m^re business consideration should be an apology 
on the part of employers for a reduction in dieir 
rates of remuneration, and whether the sayings of 
a small percentage on wages is not more than counter- 
balanced by the enormous amount of taxation en- 
forced on the public at large to defray the expenses 
iijcurred on account of a system of vice, which is 
the direct result, in many cases, of insufficient com- 
pensation of honest labor"* 

Our present-day reformers would do well to look 
into Dr. Sanger's book. There they will find that 
out of 2,000 cases under his observation, but few 
came from the middle classes, from well-ordered con- 
ditions, or pleasant homes. By far the largest major- 
ity were working girls and working women; some 
driven into prostitution through sheer want, others 
because of a cruel, wretched life at home, others 
again because of thwarted and crippled physical na- 
tures (of which I shall speak later on). Also it 
will do the maintainers of purity and morality good 
to learn that out of two thousand cases, 490 were 
married women, women who lived with their hus- 
bands. Evidently there was not much of a guaranty 
for their "safety and purity" in the sanctity of mar- 

* Dr. Sanger, The History of Prostitution, 

tit is a significant fact that Dr. Sanger's book has been 
excluded from the U. S. mails. Evidently the authorities are 
not anxious that the public be informed as to the true cause 
of prostitution. 



Dr. Alfred Blaschko, in Prostitution in the Nine- 
tetntk Century^ is even more emphatic in characteriz- 
ing economic conditions as one of the most vital fac- 
tors of prostitution. 

''Although prostitution has existed in all ages« it 
was left to the nineteenth century to develop it into / . 
a gigantic social institution. The development of; in- \ 
dustry with vast masses of people in the competitive 
market, the growth and congestion of large cities, 
the insecurity and uncertainty of employment, has 
given prostitution an impetus never dreamed of at 
any period in human history." 

And again Havelock Ellis, while not so absolute in 
dealing with the economic cause, is nevertheless com- 
pelled to admit that it is indirectly and directly 
the main cause. Thus he finds that a large percentage 
of prostitutes is recruited from the servant class, 
although the latter have less care and greater security. 
On the other hand, Mr. Ellis does not deny that the 
daily routine, the drudgery, the monotony of the 
servant girl's lot, and especially the fact that she 
may never partake of the companionship and joy of 
a home, is no mean factor in forcing her to seek 
recreation and forgetfulness in the gaiety and glimmer 
of prostitution. In other words, the servant girl, be- 
ing treated as a drudge, never having the right to 
herself, and worn out by the caprices of her mistress, 
can find an outlet, like the factory or shopgirl, only 
in prostitution. 

The most amusing side of the question now be- 
fore the public is the indignation of our "good, re- 
spectable people," especially the various Christian 


gentlemen, who are always to be found in the front 
ranks of every crusade. Is it that they are abso- 
lutely ignorant of the history of religion, and es- 
pedally of the Christian religion? Or is it that fliey 
hope to blind the present generation to the part 
played in the past by the Church in relation to pros- 
titution? Whatever their reason, they should be the 
last to cry out against the unfortunate victims of to- 
day, since it is known to every intelligent student 
that prostitution is of religious origin, maintained and 
fostered for many centuries, not as a shame but as a 
virtue, hailed as such by the Gods themselves. 

"It would ?eem that the oi^gi n of prost itution is 
to h<* ^n^mcl primarily in ^ ^i^^^y^iiq-'rrRt'nTlj rf*^igi^^i 
the sr^at cov^^^^ of social-trad it ion, preserving in 
a transformed shape a primitive freedom that was 
passing out of the general social life. The typical 
example is that recorded by Herodotus, in the fifth 
century before Christ, at the Temple of Mylitta, the 
Babylonian Venus, where every wc»nan, once in her 
life, had to come and give herself to the first stranger, 
who threw a coin in her lap, to worship the goddess. 
Very similar customs existed in other parts of West- 
em Asia, in North Africa, in C3rprus, and other islands 
of the Eastern Mediterranean, and also in Greece, 
where the temple of Aphrodite on the fort at Corinth 
possessed over a thousand hierodules, dedicated to the 
service of the goddess. 

The theory that religious prostitution developed, as 
a general rule, out of the belief that the generative 
activity of human beings possessed a mysterious and 
sacred influence in promoting the fertility of Nature, is 


maintained by all authoritative writers on the subject 
Gradually, however, and when prostitution became an 
organized institution under priestly influence, religious 
prostitution developed utilitarian sides, thus helping to 
increase public revenue. 

The rise of Christianity to political power produced 
little change in policy. The leading fathers of the 
Church tolerated prostitution. Brothels under munici* 
pal protction are found in the thirteenth century. They 
constituted a sort of public service, the directors of 
them being considered almost as public servants."* 

To this must be added the following from Dr. 
Sanger's work: 

'Tope Qement II. issued a bull that prostitutes 
would be tolerated if they pay a certain amount of 
their earnings to the Church. 

Pope Sixtus IV. was more practical; from one 
single brothel, which he himself had built, he received 
an income of 20,000 ducats." 

In modem times the Church is a little more care- 
ful in that direction. At least she does not openly de- 
mand tribute from prostitutes. She finds it much more 
profitable to go in for real estate, like Trinity Church, 
for instance, to rent out death traps at an exorbitant 
price to those who live off and by prostitution. 

Much as I should like to, my space will not admit 
speaking of prostitution in Eg3rpt, Greece, Rome, and 
during the Middle Ages. The conditions in the latter 
period are particularly interesting, inasmuch as pros- 
titution was organized into guilds, presided over by a 

* Havelock Ellis, Sex and Society. 


brothel Queen. These guilds employed strikes as a 
medium of improving their condition and keeping a 
standard price. Certainly that is more practical a 
method than the one used by the modem wage slave 
in society. 

It would be one-sided and extremely superficial to 
maintain that the economic factor is the only cause of 
prostitution. There are others no less important and 
vital. That, too, our reformers know, but dare discuss 
even less than the institution that saps the very life out 
of both men and women. I refer to the sex question, 
the very mention of which causes most people moral 

I t is a conceded fact t hat woman is being reared 
as a sex commodity ^ anH~yftF~^<^ !ft \c^pt m absolute 
ig porance of the meaning and importan ce of sex. 
Everything dealing with that subject is suppressed, and 
persons who attempt to bring light into this terrible 
darkness are persecuted and thrown into prison. Yet 
it is nevertheless true that so long as a girl is not to 
know how to take care of herself, not to know the 
function of the most important part of her life, we 
need not be surprised if she becomes an easy prey to 
prostitution, or to any other form of a relationship 
which degrades her to the position of an object for 
mere sex gratification. 

It is due to this ignorance that the entire life and 
nature of the girl is thwarted and crippled. We 
have long ago taken it as a self-evident fact that the 
boy may follow the call of the wild; that is to say, 
that the boy may, as soon as his sex nature asserts 
itself, satisfy that nature; but our moralists are scan- 


dalized at the very thought that the nature of a girl 
should assert itself. To the moralist prostitution does 
not consist so much in the fact that the woman sells 
her body, but rather that she sells it out of wedlock. 
That this is no mere statement is proved by the fact 
tha t marriage for monet ar y cQpsid^ratirvns i< ; pprfprtly 
legitimflitot oanctificci by Inw an d^ public opinionj ^while 
any rrthf^r nniftn iff r^"cl^mr^H and repudiated . Yet 
a prostitute, if properly defined, means nothing else ^ 
than "any persofl Lffir whom BexuaXj^lgtionship^^ are ) 

"ITiose women are prostitutes who sell their bodies 
for the exercise of the sexual act and make of this a 


In fact, Banger goes further; he maintains that 
the act of prostitution is "intrinsically equal to tiiat 
of a man or woman who contracts a marriage for 
economic reasons.'* 

Of course, marriage is the goal of every girl, but 
as thousands of girls cannot marry, our stupid social 
customs condemn them either to a life of celibacy or 
prostitution. Human nature asserts itself regardless 
of all laws, nor is there any plausible reason why 
nature should adapt itself to a perverted conception 
of morality. 

Society considers the R^aeL pvp^i-i^nrpg ^pf a m an 
as attributes of his gener al deypjop ment, while sim ilar 

Pirppripnrpg in tfiP lifp nf g ^om^^fi are lookcd UpQU 

as a terribk-calamity, a loss of honor and of all that is 

* Guyot, La Prostitution, 

t Banger, Criminaliti et Condition Econonuque. 



gnrwvi ant] noMr 111 fl hiiiTian hting This double stand- 
ard of morality has played no little part in the crea- 
tion and perpetuation of prostitution. It involves the 
keeping of the young in absolute ignorance on sex 
matters, which alleged ''innocence/' together with an 
overwrought and stifled sex nature, helps to bring 
about a state of affairs that our Puritans are so 
anxious to avoid or prevent. 

Not that the gratification of sex must needs lead 
to prostitution; it is the cruel, heartless, criminal per- 
secution of those who dare divert from the beaten 
track, which is responsible for it. 

Girls, mere children, work in crowded, over-heated 
rooms ten to twelve hours daily at a machine, which 
tends to keep them in a constant over-exdted sex state. 
Many of these girls have no home or comforts of any 
kind; therefore the street or some place of cheap 
amusement is the only means of forgetting their daily 
routine. This naturally brings them into dose prox- 
imity with the other sex. It is hard to say which of 
the two factors brings the girl's over-sexed condition 
to a climax, but it is certainly the most natural thing 
that a dimax should result. That is the first step 
toward prostitution. Nor is the girl to be held re- 
sponsible for it. O a_the contrary, jt is altogether the 
.fault of s ociety, the f aulLol^ ^r lack of und erstanding, 
3f o ur lack of a pprerjati^ ^^ ^^ in Ae making; 
ggpfcially is it thf rfiminfll f^"H ^^ our ni^raliRtg^ who 
condemn a girl for all etemife ^ because .she has gone 
frnmjhe " path of vi ftlif"; t^^t i s. because her first 
sex p-gp^ripnre has taken p lace without-fee sanctk>n of 
the Church. 


The girl feels herself a complete outcast, with Ae 
doors of home and society closed in her face. Her 
entire training and tradition is such that the girl her- 
self feels depraved and fallen, and therefore has no 
ground to stand upon, or any hold that will lift her 
up, instead of dragging her down. Thus society 
creates the victims that it afterwards vainly attempts 
to get rid of. The meanest, most depraved and de- 
crepit man still considers himself too good to take as 
his wife the woman whose grace he was quite willing 
to buy, even though he might thereby save her from 
a life of horror. Nor can she turn to her own sister 
for help. Tn jier stiipH^^y ^^^ latter -dgCTi s he rself too 
pure and rhaste, nnt jealizing that her own po sition is ^ 

in many re^Pftrt^ ^v^" mnr^ Hpplnrahlp than Vipr sister's 

of the jtreet. 

"The wife who married for money, compared with 
the prostitute," says Havelock Ellis, "is the true scab. 
She is paid less, gives much more in return in labor 
and care, and is absolutely bound to her master. The 
prostitute never signs away the right over her own 
person, she retains her freedom and personal rights, 
nor is she always compelled to submit to man's 

Nor does the better-than-thou woman realize the 
apologist claim of Lecky that "though she may be 
the supreme type of vice, she is also the most efficient 
guardian of virtue. But for her, happy homes would 
be polluted, unnatural and harmful practice would 

Moralists are ever ready to sacrifice one-half 



of the human race for the sake of some miserable 
insjjtution which they can not outgrow. As a matter 
of fact, prostitution is no more a safeguard for the 
purity of the home than rigid laws are a safeguard 

1 against prostitution. Fully fifty per cent, of married 
men are patrons of brothels. It is through this vir- 
tuous element that the married women — ^nay, even 
the children — are infected with venereal diseases. Yet 
Society has not a word of condemnation for the 
man, while no law is too monstrous to be set in motion 
against the helpless victim. She is not only preyed 
upon by those who use her, but she is also absolutely 
at the mercy of every policeman and miserable detec- 
tive on the beat, the officials at the station house, the 
authorities in every prison. 

In a recent book by a woman who was for twelve 
years the mistress of a "house," are to be found the fol- 
lowing figures : "The authorities compelled me to pay 
every month fines between $14.70 to $29.70, the girls 
would pay from $5.70 to $9.70 to the police." Con- 
sidering that the writer did her business in a small 
city, that the amounts she gives do not include extra 
bribes and fines, one can readily see the tremendous 
revenue the police department derives from the blood 
money of its victims, whom it will not even protect 
Woe to those who refuse to pay their toll ; they would 
be rounded up like cattle, "if only to make a favorable 
impression upon the good citizens of the city, or if the 
powers needed extra money on the side. For the 
warped mind who believes that a fallen woman is 
incapable of human emotion it would be impossible to 



realize the grief, the disgrace, the tears, the wounded 
pride that was ours every time we were pulled in." 

Strange, isn't it, that a woman who has kept a 
"house" should be able to feel that way? But stranger 
still that a good Qiristian world should bleed and 
fleece such women, and give them nothing in return 
except obloquy and persecution. Oh, for the charity 
of a Qiristian world! 

Much ctr^ is ^?H ^^ wbiti^ <^1avfig bei ng impo rted 
into America. How would America ever refain her 
virtue it iiurope did not help her out? I will not 
deny that this may be the case in some instances, any 
more than I will deny that there are emissaries of Ger- 
many and other countries luring economic slaves into 
America; but I absolutely deny that prostitution is 
recruited to any appreciable extent from Europe. It 
may be true that the majority of prostitutes of New 
York Qty are foreigners, but- that is beca use the 
majorit y of the population is fore ign. The moment 
we go to any other American city, to Chicago or the 
Middle West, we shall find that the number of foreign 
prostitutes is by far a minority. 

Equally exa ggerated is the belief that the majority 
of street p firls in this city were^^ a^ifTTrrflnsJusi 

before they came to Amer ica. Most of the girls speak 
excellent English, are Americanized in habits and ap- 
pearance,-^a thing absolutely impossible unless they 
had lived in this country many years. That is, they 
were driven into prostitution by American conditions, 

by the thnmn g hl y Americ an rimtnnijfnr evreRsivo dis- 

pl ay of fi neiXjIQd clothes, whi di, of course, necessi- 
tates jnMiey, — money that cannot be^earned in shops 
or factories. 


of Jewish girls are imported for prostitution, or 
any other purpose, is simply not to know Jewish 

Those who sit in a glass house do wrong to throw 
stones about them; besides, the American glass house 
is rather thin, it will break easily, and the interior is 
anything but a gainly sight. 

ToL-ascrihe__the_increase of prostitution to alleged 
i mportation, to th e7^ro\y tji pt^the^gl^g^ or 

si milar causes^ is highly^^s uperficial. I have already 
referred to the former. As to the cadet system, ab- 
horrent as it is, we must not ignore the fact that it is 
essentially a phase of modern prostitution, — a phas^ 
accentuat ^i by g"p pression and grafts resulting J rom 

QpnraHjr^friigaH#>Q agairiQt the. <tnf j^l ^y^'l 

The procurer is no doubt a poor specimen of the 
human family, but in what manner is he more des- 
picable than the policeman who takes the last cent 
from the street walker, and then locks her up in the 
station house? Why is the cadet more criminal, or a 
greater menace to society, than the owners of depart- 
ment stores and factories, who grow fat on the sweat 
of their victims, only to drive them to the streets? 
I make no plea for the cadet, but I fail to see why 
he should be mercilessly hounded, while the real per- 
petrators of all social iniquity enjoy immunity and 
respect. Then, too, it is well to remember that it is 
not the cadet who makes the prostitute. It is our 
sham and hypocrisy that create both the prostitute and 
the cadet. 

Until 1894 very little was known in America of 
the procurer. Then we were attacked by an epidemic 


spicuous that in the Orient ''American girl" is synony- 
mous with prostitute. Mr. Reynolds reminds his coun- 
trymen that while Americans in China are under the 
protection of our consular representatives, the Chinese 
in America have no protection at all. Every one who 
knows the brutal and barbarous persecution Chinese 
and Japanese endure on the Pacific Cofist, will agree 
with Mr. Reynolds. 

In view of the above facts it is rather absurd to 
point to Europe as the swamp whence comt all the 
social diseases of America. Just as absurd is it to 
proclaim the myth that the Jews furnish the largest 

contingent oiwilling prey . I am sure that no one will 
accuSelxie^of nationalistic tendencies. I am glad to 
say that I have developed out of them, as out of many 
other prejudices. If, therefore, I resent the statement 
that Jewish prostitutes are imported, it is not because 
of any Judaistic S3rmpathies, but because of the facts 
inherent in the lives of these people. No one but the 
most superficial will claim that Jewish girls migrate 
to strange lands, unless they have some tie or relation 
that brings them there. The Jewish girl is not adven- 
turous. Until recent years she had never left home; 
not even so far as the next village or town, except it 
were to visit some relative. Is it then credible that 
Jewish girls would leave their parents or families, 
travel thousands of miles to strange lands, through 
the influence and promises of strange forces? Qg to 
^^YJ^.^^J?i^S^ incoming steamers and see for your- 
self if thesje giri[ja^ik> not come e it h er with thoir p a rcht a, 
brotHer^^^unt&y—er- oth e r k i n s f olks There may be 
exceptions, of course, but to state that large ntmibers 


methods in coping with the issue. Thus Dr. Blaschko 
finds that governmental suppression and moral cru- 
sades accomplish nothing save driving the evil into 
secret channels, multiplying its dangers to society. 
Havelock Ellis, the most thorough and humane stu- 
dent of prostitution, proves by a wealth of data that 
the more stringent the methods of persecution the 
worse the condition becomes. Among other data we 
learn that in France, "in 1560, Charles IX. abolished 
brothels through an edict, but the numbers of prosti- 
tutes were only increased, while many new brothels 
appeared in unsuspected shapes, and were more dan- 
gerous. In spite of all such legislation, or because of 
it, there has been no country in which prostitution has 
played a more conspicuous part."* 

A n educated public o pinion^ frrrH from thr Irfnil 
^ and moral hounding of the pro.s titiitf, ^^" a1r%r»> li^lp 

fO arn*^^*^n^^ pri^gpt^t rnnHi'finnc Wllful shutting of 

eyes and ign oring of the evil as a social fa gtCflLof 
modernjife, can but aggravate m atters. We must rise 
above our foolish notions of "better than thou," and 
leaobt o recognize in the prostitute a product of soci al 
condttiens*. Such a realization will sweep away the 
attitude of hypocrisy, and insure a greater understand- 
ing and more humane treatment. Asjto a thorough 
eradiratt nn of prostitution, nothi ng can accompl ish 
tha t say^ a complt^t e transvaluation of all acc epted 
value* — pgppn'ali y t he m o ra l 0TiPQ-,-.cnnplA^ ^yitb the 

* Sex and Society. 



We boast of the age of advancement, of science, 
and progress. Is it not strange, then, that we still 
believe in fetich worship? True, our fetiches have 
different form and substance, yet in their power over 
the human mind they are still as disastrous as were 
those of old. 

Our modern fetich is universal suffrage. Those 
who have not yet achieved that goal fight bloody 
revolutions to obtain it, and those who have enjoyed 
its reign bring heavy sacrifice to the altar of this 
omnipotent diety. Woe to the heretic who dare 
question that divinity! 

Woman, even more than man, is a fetich wor- 
shipper, and though her idols may change, she 
is ever on her knees, ever holding up her hands, ever 
blind to the fact that her god has feet of clay. Thus 
woman has been the greatest supporter of all deities 
from time immemorial. Thus, too, she has had to 
pay the price that only gods can exact, — ^her free- 
dom, her heart's blood, her very life. 

Nietzsche's memorable maxim, "When yo\i go to 
woman, take the whip along/' is considered very 


brutal, yet Nietzsche expressed in one sentence the 
attitude of woman towards her gods. 

Religion, especially the Christian religion, has con- 
demned woman to the life of an inferior, a slave. 
It has thwarted her nature and fettered her soul, 
yet the Christian religion has no greater supporter, 
none more devout, than woman. Indeed, it is safe 
to say that religion would have long ceased to be a 
factor in the lives of the people, if it were not for 
the support it receives from woman. The most ardent 
churchworkers, the most tireless missionaries the 
world over, are women, always sacrificing on the altar 
of the gods that have chained her spirit and enslaved 
her body. 

The insatiable monster, war, robs woman of all 
that is dear and precious ^to her. It exacts ^r 
brothers, lovers, sons, and in return gives her a life 
of loneliness and despair. Yet the greatest supporter 
and worshiper of war is woman. She it is who in- 
stills the love of conquest and power into her chil- 
dren; she it is who whispers the glories of war into 
the ears of her little ones, and who rocks her baby 
to sleep with the tunes of trumpets and the noise 
of guns. It is woman, too, who crowns the victor 
on his return from the battlefield. Yes, it is woman 
who pays the highest price to that insatiable monster, 

Then there is the home. What a terrible fetich 
it is! How it saps the very life-energy of woman, — 
this modem prison with golden bars. Its shining 
aspect blinds woman to the price she would have 
to pay as wife, mother, and housekeeper. Yet woman 


clings tenaciously to the home, to the power that 
holds her in bondage. 

It may be said that because woman recognizes the 
awful toll she is made to pay to the Church, State, 
and the home, she wants suffrage to set herself free. 
That may be true of the few; the majority of suf- 
fragists repudiate utterly such blasphemy. On the 
contrary, they insist always that it is woman suffrage 
which will make her a better Christian and home- 
keeper, a staunch citizen of the State. Thus suffrage 
is only a means of strengthening the omnipotence of 
the very Gods that woman has served from time im- 

What wonder, then, that she should be just as 
devout, just as zealous, just as prostrate before the 
new idol, woman suffrage. As of old, she endures 
persecution, imprisonment, torture, and all forms of 
condemnation, with a smile on her face. As of old, 
the most enlightened, even, hope for a miracle from 
the twentieth century diety, — suffrage. Life, happi- 
ness, joy, freedom, independence, — ^all that, and more, 
is to spring from suffrage. In her blind devotion 
woman does not see what people of intellect per- 
ceived fifty years ago: that suffrage is an evil, that 
it has only helped to enslave people, that it has but 
closed their eyes that they may not see how craftily 
they were made to submit. 

Woman's demand for equal suffrage is based 
largely on the contention that woman must have the 
equal right in all affairs of society. No one could, 
possibly, refute that, if suffrage were a right. Alas, 
for the ignorance of the human mind, which can see 


a right in an imposition. Or is it not the most brutal 
imposition for one set of people to make laws that 
another set is coerced by force to obey? Yet woman 
clamors for that "golden opportunity" that has 
wrought so much misery in the world, and robbed 
man of his integrity and self-reliance; an imposition 
which has thoroughly corrupted the people, and made 
them absolute prey in the hands of unscrupulous poli- 

The poor, stupid, free American citizen! Free to 
starve, free to tramp the highways of this great coun- 
try, he enjoys universal suffrage, and, by that right, 
he has forged chains about his limbs. The reward 
that he receives is stringent labor laws prohibiting the 
right of boycott, of picketing, in fact, of everything, 
except the right to be fobbed of the fruits of his 
labor. Yet all these disastrous results of the twen- 
tieth century fetich have taught woman nothing. But, 
then, woman will purify politics, we are assured. 

Needless to say, I am not opposed to woman 
suffrage on the conventional ground that she is not 
equal to it. I see neither physical, psychological, 
nor mental reasons why woman should not have the 
equal right to vote with man. But that can not 
possibly blind me to the absurd notion that woman 
will accomplish that wherein man has failed. If she 
would not make things worse, she certainly could 
not make them better. To assume, therefore, that 
she would succeed in purifying something which is 
not susceptible of purification, is to credit her widi 
supernatural powers. Since woman's greatest mis- 
fortune has been that she was looked upon as 


angel or devil, her true salvation lie§ in being placed 
on earth; namely, in being considered human, and 
therefore subject to all human follies and mistakes. 
Are we, then, to believe that two errors will make 
a right? Are we to assume that the poison already 
inherent in politics will be decreased, if women were 
to enter the political arena? The most ardent suf- 
fragists would hardly maintain such a folly. 

As a matter of fact, the most advanced students 
of universal suffrage have come to realize that all 
existing systems of political power are absurd, and 
are completely inadequate to meet the pressing issues 
of life. This view is also borne out by a statement 
of one who is herself an ardent believer in woman 
suffrage. Dr. Helen L. Sumner. In her able work 
on Equal Suffrage, she says: "In Colorado, we find 
that equal suffrage serves to show in the most strik- 
ing' way the essential rottenness and degrading char- 
acter of the existing system." Of course. Dr. Sumner 
has in mind a particular system of voting, but the 
same applies with equal force to the entire machinery 
of the representative system. With such a basis, it 
is difficult to understand how woman, as a political 
factor, would benefit either herself or the rest of 

But, say our suffrage devotees, look at the coun- 
tries and States where female suffrage exists. See 
what woman has accomplished — ^in Australia, New 
Zealand, Finland, the Scandinavian countries, and in 
our own four States, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, and 
Utah. Distance lends enchantment— or, to quote a 
Polish formula — "it is well where we are not." Thus 


one would assume that those countries and States 
are unlike other countries or States, that they have 
greater freedom, greater social and economic equality, 
a finer appreciation of human life, deeper understand- 
ing of the great social struggle, with all the vital 
questions it involves for the human race. 

The women of Australia and New Zealand can 
vote, and help make the laws. Are the labor condi- 
tions better there than they are in England, where 
the suffragettes are making such a heroic struggle? 
Does there exist a greater motherhood, happier and 
freer children than in England ? Is woman there no 
longer considered a mere sex commodity? Has 
she emancipated herself from the Puritanical double 
standard of morality for men and women? Certainly 
none but the ordinary female stump politician will 
dare answer these questions in the affirmative. If 
that be so, it seems ridiculous to point to Australia 
and New Zealand as the Mecca of equal suffrage 

On the other hand, it is a fact to those who 
know the real political conditions in Australia, that 
politics have gagged labor by enacting the most 
stringent labor laws, making strikes without the sanc- 
tion of an arbitration committee a crime equal to 

Not for a moment do I mean to imply that woman 
suffrage is responsible for this state of affairs. I 
do mean, however, that there is no reason to point 
to Australia as a wonder-worker of woman's accom- 
plishment, since her influence has been unable to free 
labor from the thralldom of political bossism. 


Finland has given woman equal suffrage; nay, 
even the right to sit in Parliament. Has that helped 
to develop a greater heroism^ an intenser zeal than 
that of the women of Russia? Finland, like Russia, 
smarts under the terrible whip of the bloody Tsar. 
Where are the Finnish Perovskaias, Spiridonovas, 
Figners, Breshkovskaias? Where are the countless 
numbers of Finnish young girls who cheerfully go 
to Siberia for their cause? Finland is sadly in need 
of heroic liberators. Why has the ballot not created 
them? The only Finnish avenger of his people was 
a man, not a woman, and he used a more effective 
weapon than the ballot. 

As to our own States where women vote, and 
which are constantly being pointed out as examples of 
marvels, what has been accomplished there through 
the ballot that women do not to a large extent enjoy 
in other States ; or that they could not achieve through 
energetic efforts without the ballot? 

True, in the suffrage States wcxnen are guaranteed 
equal rights to property; but of what avail is that 
right to the mass of women without property, the 
thousands of wage workers, who live from hand to 
mouth? That equal suffrage did not, and cannot, 
affect their condition is admitted even by Dr. Sumner, 
who certainly is in a position to know. As an ardent 
suffragist, and having been sent to Colorado by the 
Collegiate Equal Suffrage League of New York 
State to collect material in favor of suffrage, she 
would be the last to say an)rthing derogatory; yet 
we are informed that "equal suffrage has but slightly 
affected the economic conditions of women. That 


women do not recdve equal pay for equal work, and 
that, though woman in Colorado has enjoyed school 
suffrage since 1876, women teachers are paid less 
than in California." On the other hand, Miss Sum- 
ner fails to account for the fact that although women 
have had school suffrage for thirty-four years, and 
equal suffrage since 1894, the census in Denver alone 
a few months ago disclosed the fact of fifteen thou- 
sand defective school children. And that, too, with 
mostly women in the educational department, and also 
notwithstanding that women in Colorado have passed 
the "most stringent laws for child and animal pro- 
tection." The women of Colorado *'have taken great 
interest in the State institutions for the care of de- 
pendent, defective, and delinquent children." What 
a horrible indictment against woman's care and in- 
terest, if one city has fifteen thousand defective chil- 
dren. What about the glory of woman suffrage, since 
it has failed utterly in the most important social issue, 
the child? And where is the superior sense of jus- 
tice that woman was to bring into the political field? 
Where was it in 1903, when the mine owners waged 
a guerilla war against the Western Miners' Union; 
when General Bell established a reign of terror, pull- 
ing men out of beds at night, kidnapping them across 
the border line, throwing them into bull pens, de- 
claring "to hell with the Constitution, the dub is 
the Constitution" ? Where were the women politicians 
then, and why did they not exercise the power of 
their vote? But they did. They helped to defeat 
the most fair-minded and liberal man, Governor 
Waite. The latter had to make way for the tool 


of the mine kings. Governor Peabody, the enemy 
of labor, the Tsar of Colorado. "Certainly male 
suflFrage could have done nothing worse." Granted. 
Wherein, then, are the advantages to woman and 
society from woman suffrage? The oft-repeated as- 
sertion that woman will purify politics is also but 
a myth. It is not borne out by the people who know 
the political conditions of Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, 
and Utah. 

Woman, essentially a purist, is naturally bigotted 
and relentless in her effort to make others as good 
as she thinks they ought to be. Thus, in Idaho, she 
has disfranchised her sister of the street, and de- 
clared all women of "lewd character" unfit to vote. 
"Lewd" not being interpreted, of course, as prosti- 
tution in marriage. It goes without saying that il- 
legal prostitution and gambling have been prohibited. 
In this regard the law must needs be of feminine 
gender: it always prohibits. Therein all laws are 
wonderful. They go no further, but their very ten- 
dencies open all the floodgates of hell. Prostitution 
and gambling have never done a more flourishing 
business than since the law has been set against them. 

In Colorado, the Puritanism of woman has ex- 
pressed itself in a mpre drastic form. "Men of 
notoriously unclean lives, and men connected with 
saloons, have been dropped from politics since women 
have the vote."* Could brother Comstock do more? 
Could all the Puritan fathers have done more? I 
wonder how many women realize the gravity of this 

'*' Equal Suffrage, Dr. Helen Sumner. 


would-be feat I wonder if they tmderstand that it 
is the very thing which, instead of elevating woman, 
has made her a political spy, a cx^ntemptible pry into 
the private affairs of people, not so much for the 
good of the cause, but because, as a Colorado woman 
said, "they like to get into houses they have never 
been in, and find out all they can, politically and 
otherwise/'* Yes, and into the human soul and its 
minutest nooks and comers. For nothing satisfies 
the craving of most women so much as scandal. And 
when did she ever enjoy such opportunities as are 
hers, the politician's? 

"Notoriously unclean lives, and men connected 
with the saloons." Certainly, the lady vote gatherers 
can not be accused of much sense of proportion. 
Granting even that these busybodies can decide whose 
lives are clean enough for that eminently clean atmo- 
sphere, politics, must it follow that saloon-keepers 
belong to the same category? Unless it be American 
hypocrisy and bigotry, so manifest in the principle 
of Prohibition, which sanctions the spread of drunk- 
enness among men and women of the rich class, yet 
keeps vigilant watch on the only place left to the 
poor man. If no other reason, woman's narrow 
and purist attitude toward life makes her a greater 
danger to liberty wherever she has political power. 
Man has long overcome the superstitions that still 
engulf woman. In the economic competitive field, 
man has been compelled to exercise efficiency, judg- 
ment, ability, competency. He therefore had neither 

* Equal Suffrage. 


time nor inclination to measure everyone's morality 
with a Puritanic yardstick. In his political activities, 
too, he has not gone about blindfolded. He knows 
that quantity and not quality is the material for the 
political grinding mill, and, unless he is a sentimental 
reformer or an old fossil, he knows that politics can 
never be anything but a swamp. 

Women who are at all conversant with the process 
of politics, know the nature of the beast, but in 
their s^f- sufficiency a nd egotism they make them- 
selves believe that they have but to pet the beast, 
and he will become as gentle as a lamb, sweet and 
pure. As if women have not sold their votes, as if 
women politicians can not be bought! If her body 
can be bought in return for material consideration, 
why not her vote ? That it is being done in G>lorado 
and in other States, is not denied even by those in 
favor of woman suffrage. 

As I have said before, woman's narrow view of 
human affairs is not the only argument against her 
as a politician superior to man. There are others. 
Her life-long economic parasitism has utterly blurred 
her conception of the meaning of equality. She 
clamors for equal rights with man, yet we learn that 
"few women care to canvas in undesirable districts."* 
How little equality means to them compared with tfie 
Russian women, who face hell itself for their ideal 1 

Woman demands the same rights as man, yet 
she is indignant that her presence does not strike him 

♦Dr. Helen A Sumner. 


dead: he smokes, keeps his hat on, and does not 
jump from his seat like a flunkey. These may be 
trivial things, but they are nevertheless the key to 
the nature of American suffragists. To be sure, 
their English sisters have outgrown these silly no- 
tions. They have shown themselves equal to the 
greatest demands on their character and power of 
endurance. All honor to the heroism and sturdiness 
of the English suffragettes. Thanks to their ener- 
getic, aggressive methods, they have proved an in- 
spiration to some of our own lifeless and spineless 
ladies. But after all, the suffragettes, too, are still 
lacking in appreciation of real equality. Else how 
is one to account for the tremendous, truly gigantic 
effort set in motion by those valiant fighters for a 
wretched little bill which will benefit a handful of 
propertied ladies, with absolutely no provision for 
the vast mass of workingwomen? True, as politicians 
they must be opportunists, must take half measures 
if they can not get all. But as intelligent and liberal 
women they ought to realize that if the ballot is 
a weapon, the disinherited need it more than Ae 
economically superior class, and that the latter already 
enjoy too much power by virtue of their economic 

The brilliant leader of the English suffragettes^ 
Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst, herself admitted, when on 
her American lecture tour, that there can be no equal- 
ity between political superiors and inferiors. If so, 
how will the workingwomen of England, already in- 
ferior economically to the ladies who are benefited 


by the Shackleton bill,* be able to work with their 
political superiors, should the bill pass? Is it not 
probable that the class of Annie Keeney, so full of 
zeal, devotion, and martyrdom, will be compelled to 
carry on their backs their female political bosses, 
even as they are carrying their economic masters. 
They would still have to do it, were universal suf- 
frage for men and women established in England. 
No matter what the workers do, they are made to 
pay, always. Still, those who believe in the power 
of the vote show little sense of justice when they 
concern themselves not at all with those whom, as 
they claim, it might serve most. 

The American suffrage movement has been, until 
very recently, altogether a parlor affair, absolutely 
detached from the economic needs of the people. 
Thus Susan B. Anthony, no doubt an exceptional 
type of woman, was not only indifferent but antag- 
onistic to labor; nor did she hesitate to manifest her 
antagonism when, in 1869, she advised women to 
take the places of striking printers in New York.t 
I do not know whether her attitude had changed 
before her death. 

There are, of course, some suffragists who are 
affiliated with workingwomen — ^the Women's Trade 
Union League, for instance; but they are a small 
minority, and their activities are essentially economic. 
The rest look upon toil as a just provision of Provi- 

*Mr. Shackleton was a labor leader. It is therefore self- 
evident that he should introduce a bill excluding his own con- 
stituents. The English Parliament is full of such Judases. 

t Equal Suffrage. Dr. Helen A. Sumner. 


dence. What wotdd become of the rich^ if not £or 
the poor ? What would become of these idle, parasitic 
ladies, who squander more in a week than their 
victims earn in a year, if not for the eighty nuUion 
wage workers? Equality, who ever heard of such 
a thing? 

Few countries have produced such arrogance and 
snobbishness as America. Particularly is this true of 
the American woman of the middle class. She not 
only considers herself the equal of man, but his su- 
perior, especially in her purity, goodness, and morality. 
Small wonder that the American suffragist claims for 
her vote the most miraculous powers. In her exalted 
conceit she does not see how truly enslaved she is, 
not so much by man, as by her own silly notions 
and traditions. Suffrage can not ameliorate that sad 
fact ; it can only accentuate it, as indeed it does. 

One of the great American women leaders claims 
that woman is entitled not only to equal pay, but 
that she ought to be legally entitled even to Ac 
pay of her husband. Failing to support her, he 
should be put in convict stripes, and his earnings 
in prison be collected by his equal wife. Does not 
another brilliant exponent of the cause claim for 
woman that her vote will abolish the social evil, which 
has been fought in vain by the collective efforts of 
the most illustrious minds the world over? It is 
indeed to be regretted that the alleged creator of the 
universe has already presented us with his wonder- 
ful scheme of things, else woman suffrage would 
surely enable woman to outdo him completely. 

Nothing is so dangerous as the dissection of a 


fetich. If we have outlived the time when such heresy 
was punishable by the stake, we have not outlived 
the narrow spirit of condemnation of those who 
dare differ with accepted notions. Therefore I shall 
probably be put down as an opponent of woman. 
But that can not deter me from looking the ques- 
tion squarely in the face. I repeat what I have said 
in the beginning: I do not believe that woman will 
make politics worse; nor can I believe that she could 
make it better. If, then, she cannot improve on 
man's mistakes, why perpetuate the latter? 

History may be a compilation of lies ; nevertheless, 
it contains a few truths, and they are the only g^ide 
we have for the future. The history of the political 
activities of men proves that they have given him 
absolutely nothing that he could not have achieved 
in a more direct, less costly, and more lasting man- 
ner. As a matter of fact, every inch of ground he 
has gained has been through a constant fight, a cease- 
less struggle for self-assertion, and not through 
suffrage. There is no reason whatever to assume 
that woman, in her climb to emancipation, has been, 
or will be, helped by the ballot. 

In the darkest of all countries, Russia, with her 
absolute despotism, woman has become man's equal, 
not through the ballot, but by her will to be and to 
do. Not only has she conquered for herself every 
avenue of learning and vocation, but she has won 
man's esteem, his respect, his comradeship; aye, even 
more than thatr she has gained the admiration, the 
respect of the whole world. That, too, not through 
suffrage, but by her wonderful heroism, her 


fortitude, her ability, will power, and her en- 
durance in the struggle for liberty. Where arc the 
women in any suffrage country or State that can 
lay claim to such a victory? When we consider the 
.accomplishments of woman in America, we find also 
that something deeper and more powerful than 
suffrage has helped her in the march to emancipation. 
It is just sixty-two years ago since a handful of 
women at the Seneca Falls Convention set forth a 
few demands for their right to equal education with 
men, and access to the various professions, trades, 
etc. What wonderful accomplishment, what wonder- 
ful triumphs ! Who but the most ignorant dare speak 
of woman as a mere domestic drudge? Who dare 
suggest that this or that profession shotdd not be 
open to her? For over sixty years she has molded 
a new atmosphere and a new life for hersdf. She 
has become a world power in every domain of human 
thought and activity. And all that without su£Frage, 
without the right to make laws, without the "privi- 
lege" of becoming a judge, a jailer, or an executioner. 
Yes, I may be considered an enemy of woman; 
but if I can help her see the light, I shall not com- 
) The misfortune of woman is not that she is un- 

able to do the work of a man, but that she is wast- 
ing her life force to outdo him, with a tradition of 
centuries which has left her physically incapable of 
. keeping pace with him. Oh, I know some have suc- 
' ceeded, but at what cost, at what terrific cost! The 
, import is not the kind of work woman does, but 
' rattier the quality of the work she furnishes. She 


can give suffrage or the ballot no new quality, nor V 
can she receive an3rthing from it that will enhance 
her own quality. Her development, her freedom, her 
independence, must come from and through herself. 
First, by asserting herself as a personality, and not ' 
as a sex commodity. Second, by refusing the right 
to anyone over her body; by refusing to bear chil- 
dren, unless she wants them; by refusing to be a ; 
servant to God, the State, society, the husband, the 
family, etc.; by making her life simpler, but deeper - 
and richer. That is, by tr)ring to learn the meaning 
and substance of life in all its complexities, by free- 
ing herself from the fear of public opinion and pub- . 
lie condemnation. Only that, and not the ballot, will * 
set woman free, will make her a force hitherto un- ; 
known in the world, a force for real love, for peace, f 
for harmony; a force of divine fire, of life giving: ! 
a creator of free men and women. 



I BEGIN with an admission: Regardless of all political 
and ecx)nomic theories, treating of the fundamental 
differences between various groups within the human 
race^ regardless of class and race distinctions, regard- 
less of all artificial boundary lines between woman's 
rights and man's rights, I hold that there is a point 
where these differentiations may meet and grow into 
one perfect whole. 

With this I do not mean to propose a peace treaty. 
The general social antagonism which has taken hold 
of our entire public life today, brought about through 
the force of opposing and contradictory interests, will 
crumble to pieces when the reorganization of our social 
life, based upon the principles of economic justice, 
shall have become a reality. 

Peace or harmony between the sexes and indi- 
viduals does not necessarily depend on a superficial 
equalization of human beings ; nor does it call for the 
elimination of individual traits and peculiarities. The 
problem that confronts us today, and which the near- 
est future is to solve, is how to be one's self and yet 


in oneness with others, to feel deeply with all human 
beings and still retain one's own characteristic quali- 
ties. This seems to me to be the basis upon which 
the mass and the individual, the true democrat and 
the true individuality, man and woman, can meet with- 
out antagonism and opposition. The motto should not 
be : Forgive one another ; rather, Understand one an- 
other. The oft-quoted sentence of Madame de Stael : 
"To understand everything means to forgive every- 
thing," has never particularly appealed to me ; it has 
the odor of the confessional; to forgive one's fellow- 
being conveys the idea of pharisaical superiority. To 
understand one's fellow-being suffices. The admission 
partly represents the fundamental aspect of my views 
on the emancipation of woman and its effect upcm the 
entire sex. 

Emancipation should make it possible for woman 
to be human in the truest sense. Everything within 
her that craves assertion and activity should reach its 
fullest expression; all artificial barriers should be 
broken, and the road towards greater freedom cleared 
of every trace of centuries of submission and slavery. 

This was the original aim of the movement for 
woman's emancipation. But the results so far 
achieved have isolated woman and have robbed her of 
the fountain springs of that happiness which is so 
essential to her. Merely external emancipation has 
made of the modem woman an artificial being-, who 
reminds one of the products of French arboriculture 
with its arabesque trees and shrubs, pyramids, wheels, 
and wreaths ; anything, except the forms which would 
be reached by the expression of her own inner quafi* 


ties. Such artificially grown plants of the female sex 
are to be found in large numbers, especially in the so- 
called intellectual sphere of our life. 

Liberty and equality for woman ! What hopes and 
aspirations these words awakened when they were first 
uttered by some of the noblest and bravest souls of 
those days. The sun in all his light and glory was 
to rise upon a new world; in this world woman was 
to be free to direct her own destiny — ^an aim certainly 
worthy of the great enthusiasm, courage, perseverance, 
and ceaseless effort of the tremendous host of pioneer 
men and women, who staked everything against a 
world of prejudice and ignorance. 

My hopes also move towards that goal, but I hold 
that the emancipation of woman, as interpreted and 
practically applied today, has failed to reach that 
great end. Now, woman is confronted with the neces- 
sity of emancipating herself from emancipation, if she 
really desires to be free. This may sound paradoxical, 
but is, nevertheless, only too true. 

What has she achieved through her emancipation? 
Equal suffrage in a few States. Has that purified our 
political life, as many well-meaning advocates pre- 
dicted? Certainly not. Incidentally, it is really time 
that persons with plain, sound judgment should cease 
to talk about corruption in politics in a boarding-school 
tone. Corruption of politics has nothing to do with 
the morals, or the laxity of morals, of various political 
personalities. Its cause is altogether a material one. 
Politics is the reflex of the business and industrial 
world, the mottos of which are: "To take is more 
blessed than to give" ; "buy cheap and sell dear" ; "one 


soiled hand washes the other.'^ There is no hope even 
that woman, with her right to vote, will ever purify 

Emancipation has brought woman economic equal- 
ity with man; that is, she can choose her own pro- 
fession and trade ; but as her past and present physical 
training has not equipped her with the necessary 
strength to compete with man, she is often compelled 
to exhaust all her energy, use up her vitality, and 
strain every nerve in order to reach the market value. 
Very few ever succeed, for it is a fact that women 
teachers, doctors, lawyers, architects, and engineers 
are neither met with the same confidence as their male 
colleagues, nor receive equal remuneration. And those 
that do reach that enticing equality, generally do so 
at the expense of their physical and psychical well- 
being. As to the great mass of working girls and 
women, how much independence is gained if the nar- 
rowness and lack of freedom of the home is ex- 
changed for the narrowness and lack of freedom of 
the factory, sweat-shop, department store, or office? 
In addition is the burden which is laid on many women 
of looking after a "home, sweet home" — cold, dreary, 
disorderly, uninviting — ^after a day's hard work. 
Glorious independence! No wonder that hundreds of 
girls are so willing to accept the first oflFer of mar- 
riage, sick and tired of their "independence" bdiind 
the counter, at the sewing or typewriting madiine. 
They are just as ready to marry as girls of the middle 
class, who long to throw off the yoke of parental su- 
premacy. A so-called independence which leads only 
to earning the merest subsistence is not so enticing, 


not SO ideal, that one could expect woman to sacrifice 
ever3rthing for it. Our highly praised independ^ice 
is, after all, but a slow process of dulling and stifling 
woman's nature, her love instinct, and her mother 

Nevertheless, the position of the working girl is 
far more natural and human than that of her seemingly 
more fortunate sister in the more cultured professional 
walks of life — ^teachers, physicians, lawyers, engineers, 
etc., who have to make a dignified, proper appearance, 
while the inner life is growing empty and dead. 

The narrowness of the existing conception of 
woman's independence and emancipation; the dread 
of love for a man who is not her social equal; the 
fear that love will rob her of her freedom and inde- 
pendence; the horror that love or the joy of mother- 
hood will only hinder her in the full exercise of her 
profession — ^all these together make of the emancipated 
modem woman a compulsory vestal, before whom life, 
with its great clarifying sorrows and its deep, entranc- 
ing joys, rolls on without touching or gripping her 

Emancipation, as understood by the majority of its 
adherents and exponents, is of too narrow a scope to 
permit the boundless love and ecstasy contained in 
the deep emotion of the true woman, sweetheart, 
mother, in freedom. 

The tragedy of the self-supporting or economically 
free woman does not lie in too many but in too 
few experiences. True, she surpasses her sister of 
past generations in knowledge of the world and hu- 
man nature; it is just because of this that she feds 


deeply the lack of life's essence, which alone can 
enrich the human soul, and without which the major- 
ity of women have become mere professional autom- 

That such a state of affairs was bound to oome 
was foreseen by those who realized that, in the do- 
main of ethics, there still remained many decaying 
ruins of the time of the undisputed superiority of 
man; ruins that are still considered useful. And, 
what is more important, a goodly number of the 
emancipated are unable to get along without them. 
Every movement that aims at the destruction of ex- 
isting institutions and the replacement thereof with 
something more advanced, more perfect, has followers 
who in theory stand for the most radical ideas, but 
who, nevertheless, in their every-day practice, are like 
the average Philistine, feigning respectability and 
clamoring for the good opinion of their opponents. 
There are, for example, Socialists, and even Anarch- 
ists, who stand for the idea that property is robbery, 
yet who will grow indignant if anyone owe them 
the value of a half-dozen pins. 

The same Philistine can be found in the move- 
ment for woman's emancipation. Yellow journalists 
and milk-and-water litterateurs have painted pictures 
of the emancipated woman that make the hair of the 
good citizen and his dull companion stand up on 
end. Every member of the woman's rights move- 
ment was pictured as a George Sand in her abso- 
lute disregard of morality. Nothing was sacred to 
her. She had no respect for the ideal relation be- 
tween man and woman. In short, emancipation stood 


only for a reckless life of lust and sin; regardless 
of society, religion, and morality. The exponents 
of woman's rights were highly indignant at such 
misrepresentation, and, lacking humor, they exerted 
all their energy to prove that they were not at all 
as bad as they were painted, but the very reverse. 
Of course, as long as woman was the slave of man, 
she could not be good and pure, but now that she 
was free and independent she would prove how good 
she could be and that her influence would have a 
purifying effect on all institutions in society. True, 
the movement for woman's rights has broken many \ 
old fetters, but it has also forged new ones. The j 
great movement of true emancipation has not met . 
with a great race of women who could look liberty 
in the face. Their narrow, Puritanical vision banished ' 
man, as a disturber and doubtful character, out of 
their emotional life. Man was not to be tolerated ' 
at any price, epccept perhaps as the father of a ; 
child, since a child could not very well come to life 
without a father. Fortunately, the most rigid Puritans ; 
never will be strong enough to kill the innate crav- > 
ing for motherhood. But woman's freedom is closely j 
allied with man's freedom, and many of my so-called ' 
emancipated sisters seem to overlook the fact that : 
a child bom in freedom needs, the love and devotion ' 
of each human being about him, man as well as 
woman. Unfortunately, it is this narrow conception 
of human relations that has brought about a great 
tragedy in the lives of the modem man and woman. '' 

About fifteen years ago appeared a work from 
the pen of the brilliant Norwegian, Laura Marholm, 


called Woman^ a Character Study, She was one 
of the first to call attention to the emptiness and nar- 
rowness of the existing conception of woman's eman- 
cipation, and its tragic effect upon the inner life of 
woman. In her work Laura Marholm speaks of the 
fate of several gifted women of international fame: 
the genius, Eleonora Duse; the great mathetnatidaii 
and writer, Sonya Kovalevskaia; the artist and poet- 
nature, Marie Bashkirtzeff, who died so young. 
Through each description of the lives of these women 
of such extraordinary mentality nms a marked trail 
of unsatisfied craving for a full, rounded, complete, 
and beautiful life, and the unrest and loneliness re- 
sulting from the lack of it. Through these masterly 
psychological sketches, one cannot help but see that 
the higher the mental development of woman, the less 
possible it is for her to meet a congenial mate who 
will see in her, not only sex, but also the human 
being, the friend, the comrade and strong individual- 
ity, who cannot and ought not lose a single trait of 
her character. 

The average man with h is selfrsufficiencv - his 
ridiculously superior airs of patronage towards the 
female sex, is an impossibility for woman as depicted 
in the Character Study by Laura Marholm. Equally 
impossible for her is the man who can see in her 
nothing more than her mentality and her genius, and 
who fails to awaken her woman nature. 

A rich intellect and a fine soul are usually ooo- 
sidered necessary attributes of a deep and b^iutiftil 
personality. In the case of the modern woman, these 
attributes serve as a hindrance to the complete asser- 


tion of her being. For over a hundred years the 
old form of marriage, based on the Bible, "till death 
doth part," has been denounced as an institution that 
stands for the sovereignty of the man over the woman, 
of her complete submission to his whims and com- 
mands, and absolute dependence on his name and sup- 
port. Time and again it has been conclusively proved 
that the old matrimonial relation restricted woman to 
the function of man's servant and the bearer of his 
children. And yet we find many emancipated women 
who prefer marriage, with all its deficiencies, to the 
narrowness of an unmarried life; narrow and tm- 
endurable because of the chains of moral and social 
prejudice that cramp and bind her nature. 

The explanation of such inconsistency on the part 
of many advanced women is to be found in the fact 
that they never truly understood the meaning of eman- 
cipation. They thought that all that was needed was 
independence from external tyrannies; the internal 
tyrants, far more harmful to life and growth — ethical 
and social conventions — were left to take care of 
themselves; and they have taken care of themselves. 
They seem to get along as beautifully in the heads 
and hearts of the most active exponents of woman's 
emancipation, as in the heads and hearts of our grand- 

These internal tyrants, whether they be in the 
form of public opinion or what will mother say, or 
brother, father, aunt, or relative of any sort; what 
will Mrs. Grundy, Mr. Comstock, the employer, the 
Board of Education say? All these busybodievS, moral 
detectives, jailers of the human spirit, what will they 


say? Until woman has learned to defy them all, to 
stand firmly on her own ground and to insist upon 
her own unrestricted freedom, to listen to the voice of 
her nature, whether it call for life's greatest treasure, 
love for a man, or her most glorious privilege, the 
right to give birth to a child, she cannot call her- 
self emancipated. How many emancipated women 
are brave enough to acknowledge that the voice of 
love is calling, wildly beating against their breasts, 
demanding to be heard, to be satisfied. 

The French writer, Jean Reibrach, in one of his 
novels, New Beauty, attempts to picture the ideal, 
beautiful, emancipated woman. This ideal is em- 
bodied in a young girl, a physician. She talks very 
cleverly and wisely of how to feed infants; she is kind, 
and administers medicines free to poor mothers. She 
converses with a young man of her acquaintance 
about the sanitary conditions of the future, and how 
various bacilli and germs shall be exterminated by 
the use of stone walls and floors, and by the doing 
away with rugs and hangings. She is, of course, very 
plainly and practically dressed, mostly in black. The 
young man, who, at their first meeting, was overawed 
by the wisdom of his emancipated friend, gradually 
learns to understand her, and recognizes one fine 
day that he loves her. They are young, and she is 
kind and beautiful, and though always in rigid attire, 
her appearance is softened by a spotlessly clean white 
collar and cuffs. One would expect that he would 
tell her of his love, but he is not one to oomrait 
romantic absurdities. Poetry and the enthusiasm of 
love cover their blushing faces before the pure beauty 



of the lady. He silences the voice of his nature, and 
remains correct. She, too, is always exact, always 
rational, always well behaved. I fear if they had 
formed a union, the young man would have risked 
freezing to death. I must confess that I can see 
nothing beautiful in this new beauty, who is as cold 
as the stone walls and floors she dreams of. Rather 
-would I have the love songs of romantic ages, rather 
Don Juan and Madame Venus, rather an elopement 
by ladder and rope on a moonlight night, followed 
by the father's curse, mother's moans, and the moral 
comments of neighbors, than correctness and propri- 
ety measured by yardsticks. If love does not know 
how to give and take without restrictions, it is not 
love, but a transaction that never fails to lay stress 
on a plus and a minus. 

The greatest shortcoming of the emancipation of 
the present day lies in its artificial stiffness and its 
narrow respectabilities, which produce an emptiness 
in woman's soul that will not let her drink from the 
fountain of life. I once remarked that there seemed 
to be a deeper relationship between the old-fashioned 
mother and hostess, ever on the alert for the happi- 
ness of her little ones and the comfort of those she 
loved, and the truly new woman, than between the 
latter and her average emancipated sister. The dis- 
ciples of emancipation pure and simple declared me 
a heathen, fit only for the stake. Their blind zeal 
did not let them see that my comparison between 
the old and the new was merely to prove that a 
goodly number of our grandmothers had more blood 
in their veins, far more humor and wit, and certainly 


a greater amount of naturalness, kind-heaitedness, 
and simplicity, than the majority of our emancipated 
professional women who fill the colleges, halls of 
learning, and various offices. This does not mean a 
wish to return to the past, nor does it oondemn 
woman to her old sphere, the kitchen and the nur- 

Salvation lies in an energetic march onward towards 
a brighter and clearer future. We are in need of un- 
hampered growth out of old traditions and habits. 
The movement for woman's emancipation has so bx 
made but the first step in that direction. It is to 
be hoped that it will gather strength to make an- 
other. The right to vote, or equal civil rights, ' 
may be good demands, but true emancipation begins 
neither at the polls nor in courts. It begins in 
woman's soul. History tells us that every oppressed 
class gained true liberation from its masters through 
its own efforts. It is necessary that woman learn 
that lesson, that she realize that her freedom will 
reach as far as her power to achieve her freedom 
reaches. It is, therefore, far more important for her 
to begin with her inner regeneration, to cut loose from 
the weight of prejudices, traditions, and customs. 
The demand for equal rights in every vocation of life 
is just and. fair; but, after all, the most vital right 
is the right to love and be loved. Indeed, if partial 
emancipation is to become a complete and true eman- 
cipation of woman, it will have to do away with tiie 
ridiculous notion that to be loved, to be sweetheart 
and mother, is s3monymous with being slave or sub- 
ordinate. It will have to do away with tfie absurd 


notion of the dualism of the sexes^ or that man and 
woman represent two antagonistic worlds. 

Pettiness separates; breadth unites. Let us be 
broad and big. Let us not overlook vital things 
because of the bulk of trifles confronting us. A true 
conception of the relation of the sexes will not admit 
of conqueror and conquered; it knows of but one 
great thing: to give of one's self boundlessly, in 
order to find one's self richer, deeper, better. That 
alone can fill the emptiness, and transform the tragedy 
of woman's emancipation into joy, limitless joy. 


The popular notion about marriage and love is that 
they are synonymous, that they spring from the same 
motives, and cover the same human needs. Like most 
popular notions this also rests not on actual facts, but 
on superstitition. 

Marriage and love have nothing in common; they 
are as far apart as the poles ; are, in fact, antagonistic 
to each other. No doubt some marriages have been 
the result of love. Not, however, because love could 
assert itself only in marriage; much rather is it be- 
cause few people can completely outgrow a conven- 
tion. There are today large numbers of men and 
women to whom marriage is naught but a farce, but 
who submit to it for the sake of public opinion. At 
any rate, while it is true that some marriages are based 
on love, and while if is equally true that in some cases 
love continues in married life, I maintain that it does 
so regardless of marriage, and not because of it. 

On the other hand, it is utterly false that love 
results from marriage. On rare occasions one does 
hear of a miraculous case of a married couple falling 
in love after marriage, but on close examination it 


will be found that it is a mere adjustment to the 
inevitable. Certainly the growing-used to each other 
is far away from the spontaneity, the intensity, and 
beauty of love, without which the intimacy of mar- 
riage must prove degrading to both the woman and 
the man. 

Marriage is primarily an economic arrangement, 
an insurance pact. It differs from the ordinary life 
insurance agreement only in that it is more binding, 
more exacting. Its returns are insignificantly smaU 
compared with the investments. In taking out an 
insurance policy one pays for it in dollars and cents, 
always at liberty to discontinue payments. If, how- 
ever, woman's premium is a husband, she pays for it 
with her name, her privacy, her self-respect, her very 
life, "until death doth part." Moreover, the marriage 
insurance condemns her to life-long dependency, to 
parasitism, to complete uselessness, individual as well 
as social. Man, too, pays his toll, but as his sphere is 
wider, marriage does not limit him as much as woman. 
He feels his chains more in an economic sense. 

Thus Dante's motto over Inferno applies with 
equal force to marriage. "Ye who enter here leave all 
hope behind." 

That marriage is a failure n<Mie but the very 
stupid will deny. One has but to glance over tfie 
statistics of divorce to realize how bitter a failure 
marriage really is. Nor will the stereotyped Philistine 
argument diat the laxity of divorce laws and the 
growing looseness of woman account for the fact ttiat: 
first, every twelfth marriage ends in divorce; second, 
that since 1870 divorces have increased from 28 to 73 


for every hundred thousand population; third, that 
adultery, since 1867, as ground for divorce, has in- 
creased 270.8 per cent. ; fourth, that desertion increased 
369.8 per cent. 

Added to these startling figures is a vast amount of 
material, dramatic and literary, further elucidating 
this subject. Robert Herrick, in Together; Pinero, in 
Mid-Channel; Eugene Walter, in Paid in FuU, and 
scores of other writers are discussing the barrenness, 
the monotony, the sordidness, the inadequacy of mar- 
riage as a factor for harmony and understanding. 

The thoughtful social student will not content him- 
self with the popular superficial excuse for this phe- 
nomenon. He will have to dig down deeper into the 
very life of the sexes to know why marriage proves 
so disastrous. 

Edward Carpenter says that behind every marriage 
stands the life-long environment of the two sexes ; an 
environment so different from each other that man 
and woman must remain strangers. Separated by 
an insurmountable wall of superstition, custom, and 
habit, marriage has not the potentiality of devebping 
knowledge of, and respect for, each other, without 
which every union is doomed to failure. 

Henrik Ibsen, the hater of all social shams, was 
probably the first to realize this great truth. Nora 
leaves her husband, not — as the stupid critic would 
have it — because she is tired of her responsibilities or 
feels the need of woman's rights, but because she has 
come to know that for eight years she had lived with a 
stranger and borne him children. Can there be any- 
thing more humiliating, more degrading than a life- 


long proximity between two strangers? No need for 
the woman to know anything of the man, save his in- 
come. As to the knowledge of the woman — ^what is 
there to know except that she has a pleasing appear- 
ance? We have not yet outgrown the theologic myth 
that woman has no soul, that she is a mere appendix to 
man, made out of his rib just for the convenience of 
the gentleman who was so strong that he was afraid 
of his own shadow. 

Perchance the poor quality of the material whence 
woman comes is responsible for her inferiority. At 
any rate, woman has no soul — ^what is there to know 
about her? Besides, the less soul a woman has the 
greater her asset as a wife, the more readily will she 
absorb herself in her husband. It is this slavish ac- 
quiescence to man's superiority that has kept the mar- 
riage institution seemingly intact for so long a period. 
Now that woman is coming into her own, now that 
she is actually growing aware of herself as a being 
outside of the master's grace, the sacred institution of 
marriage is gradually being undermined, and no 
amount of sentimental lamentation can stay it. 

From infancy, almost, the average girl is told that 
marriage is her ultimate goal; therefore her training 
and education must be directed towards that end. 
Like the mute beast fattened for slaughter, she is pre- 
pared for that. Yet, strange to say, she is allowed to 
know much less about her function as wife and mother 
than the ordinary artisan of his trade. It is indecent 
and filthy for a respectable girl to know anything of 
the marital relation. Oh, for the inconsistency of 
respectability, that needs the marriage vow to turn 


something which is filthy into the purest and most 
sax:red arrangement that none dare question or criticize. 
Yet that is exactly the attitude of the average up- 
holder of marriage. The prospective wife and mother 
is kept in complete ignorance of her only asset in the 
competitive field — ^sex. Thus she enters into life-long 
relations with a man only to find herself shocked, re- 
pelled, outraged beyond measure by the most natural 
and healthy instinct, sex. It is safe to say that a large 
percentage of the unhappiness, misery, distress, and 
physical suffering of matrimony is due to the criminal 
ignorance in sex matters that is being extolled as a 
great virtue. Nor is it at all an exaggeration when I 
say that more than one home has been broken up be- 
cause of this deplorable fact. 

If, however, woman is free and big enough to learn 
the mystery of sex without the sanction of State or 
Church, she will stand condemned as utterly tuifit to 
become the wife of a "good" man, his goodness con- 
sisting of an empty brain and plenty of money. Can 
there be anything more outrageous than the idea that 
a healthy, grown woman, full of life and passion, must 
deny nature's demand, must subdue her most intense 
craving, undermine her health and break her spirit, 
must stunt her vision, abstain from the depth and glory 
of sex experience until a "good" man comes along to 
take her unto himself as a wife? That is precisely 
what marriage means. How can such an arrangement 
end except in failure? This is one, though not the 
least important, factor of marriage, which diflFer- 
entiates it from love. 


Ours is a practical age. The time when Romeo 
and Juliet risked the wrath of their fathers for love, 
when Gretchen exposed herself to the gossip of her 
neighbors for love, is no more. If, on rare occasions, 
young people allow themselves the luxury of romance, 
they are taken in care by the elders, drilled and 
pounded until they become "sensible." 

The moral lesson instilled in the girl is not whether 
the man has aroused her love, but rather is it, "How 
much?" The important and only God of practical 
American life: Can the man make a living? can he 
support a wife? That is the only thing that justifies 
marriage. Gradually this saturates every thought of 
the girl ; her dreams are not of moonlight and kisses, 
of laughter and tears; she dreams of shopping tours 
and bargain counters. This soul poverty and sordid- 
ness are the elements inherent in the marriage institu- 
tion. The State and the Church approve of no other 
ideal, simply because it is the one that necessitates the 
State and Church control of men and women. 

Doubtless there are people who continue to con- 
sider love above dollars and cents. Particularly is this 
true of that class whom economic necessity has forced 
to become self-supporting. The tremendous change in 
woman's position, wrought by that mighty factor, is 
indeed phenomenal when we reflect that it is but a 
short time since she has entered the industrial arena. 
Six million women wage workers ; six million women, 
who have the equal right with men to be exploited, to 
be robbed, to go on strike ; aye, to starve even. Any- 
thing more, my lord? Yes, six million wage workers 
in every walk of life, from the highest brain work to 


the mines and railroad tracks; yes, even detectives 
and policemen. Surely the emancipation is complete. 

Yet with all that, but a very small ntmiber of the 
vast army of women wage workers look upon work 
as a permanent issue, in the same light as does man. 
No matter how decrepit the latter, he has been taught 
to be independent, self-supporting. Oh, I know that 
no one is really independent in our economic treadmill ; 
still, the poorest specimen of a man hates to be a para- 
site; to be known as such, at any rate. 

The woman considers her position as worker tran- 
sitory, to be thrown aside for the first bidder. That 
is why it is infinitely harder to organize women than 
men. "Why should I join a union ? I am going to get 
married, to have a home." Has she not been taught 
from infancy to look upon that as her ultimate calling? 
She learns soon enough that the home, though not so 
large a prison as the factory, has more solid doors 
and bars. It has a keeper so faithful that naught can 
escape him. The most tragic part, however, is that the 
home no longer frees her from wage slavery; it only 
increases her task. 

According to the latest statistics submitted before 
a Committee "on labor and wages, and congestion of 
population," ten per cent, of the wage workers in New 
York Qty alone are married, yet they must continue 
to work at the most poorly paid labor in the world. 
Add to this horrible aspect the drudgery of housework, 
and what remains of the protection and glory of the 
home? As a matter of fact, even the middle-class girl 
in marriage can not speak of her home, since it is the 
man who creates her sphere. It is not important 


whether the husband is a brute or a darling. What I 
wish to prove is that marriage guarantees woman a 
home only by the grace of her husband. There she 
moves about in his home, year after year, until her 
aspect of life and human affairs becomes as flat, nar- 
row, and drab as her surroundings. Small wonder if 
she becomes a nag, petty, quarrelsome, gossipy, un- 
bearable, thus driving the man from the house. She 
could not go, if she wanted to ; there is no place to go. 
Besides, a short period of married life, of complete 
surrender of all faculties, absolutely incapacitates the- 
average woman for the outside world. She becomes 
reckless in appearance, clumsy in her movements, de- 
pendent in her decisions, cowardly in her judgment, a 
weight and a bore, which most men grow to hate and 
despise. Wonderfully inspiring atmosphere for the 
bearing of life, is it not? 

But the child, how is it to be protected, if not for 
marriage? After all, is not that the most important 
consideration? The sham, the hypocrisy of it! Mar- 
riage protecting the child, yet thousands of children 
destitute and homeless. Marriage protecting the child, 
yet orphan asylums and reformatories overcrowded, the 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children keep- 
ing busy in rescuing the little victims from "loving** 
parents, to place them under more loving care, the 
Gerry Society. Oh, the mockery of it! 

Marriage may have the power to bring the horse 
to water, but has it ever made him drink? The law 
will place the father under arrest, and put him in con- 
vict's clothes ; but has that ever stilled the himger of 
the child.? If the parent has no work, or if he hides 


his identity, what does marriage do then? It invokes 
the law to bring the man to "justice," to put him safely 
behind closed doors; his labor, however, goes not to 
the child, but to the State. The child receives but a 
blighted memory of its father's stripes. 

As to the protection of the woman, — ^therein lies 
the curse of marriage. Not that it really protects her, 
but the very idea is so revolting, such an outrage and 
insult on life, so degrading to human dignity, as to 
forever condemn this parasitic institution. 

It is like that other paternal arrangement — capital- 
ism. It robs man of his birthright, stunts his growth, 
poisons his body, keeps him in ignorance, in poverty, 
and dependence, and then institutes charities that 
thrive on the last vestige of man's self-respect. 

The institution of marriage makes a parasite of 
woman, an absolute dependent. It incapacitates her 
for life's struggle, annihilates her social consciousness, 
paralyzes her imagination, and then imposes its gra- 
cious protection, which is in reality a snare, a travesty 
on human character. 

If motherhood is the highest fulfillment of woman's 
nature, what other protection does it need, save love 
and freedom? Marriage but defiles, outrages, and 
corrupts her fulfillment. Does it not say to woman. 
Only when you follow me shall you bring forth life? 
Does it not condemn her to the block, does it not de- 
grade and shame her if she refuses to buy her right to 
motherhood by selling herself? Does not marriage 
only sanction motherhood, even though conceived in 
hatred, in compulsion? Yet, if motherhood be pf free 
choice, of love, of ecstasy, of defiant passion, does it 


not place a crown of thorns upon an innocent bead 
and carve in letters of blood the hideous epithet. Bas- 
tard? Were marriage to contain all the virtues claimed 
for it, its crimes against motherhood would exdude 
it forever from the realm of love. 

Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, 
the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the 
defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, 
the most powerful moulder of human destiny; how can 
such an all-compelling force be synonymous with diat 
poor little State and Church-begotten weed, marriage? 

Free love ? As if love is anything but free ! Man 
has bought brains, but all the millions in the world 
have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, bat 
all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. 
Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies 
could not conquer love. Man has chained and fet- 
tered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless be- 
fore love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and 
pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and 
desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the 
poorest hovel is radiant* with warmth, with life and 
color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a 
beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no 
other atmosphere. In freedom it gives itself un- 
reservedly, abundantly, completely. All tiie laws on 
the statutes, all the courts in the universe, cannot tear 
it from the soil, once love has taken root. If, however, 
the soil is sterile, how can marriage make it bear fruit? 
It is like the last desperate struggle of fleeting life 
against death. 


Love needs no protection ; it is its own protection. 
So long as love begets life no child is deserted, or 
hungry, or famished for the want of affection. I 
know, this to be true. I know women who became 
mothers in freedom by the men they loved. Few 
children in wedlock enjoy the care, the protection, 
the devotion free motherhood is capable of bestowing. 

The defenders of authority dread the advent of a 
free motherhood, lest it will rob them of their prey. 
Who would fight wars? Who would create wealth? 
Who would make the policeman, the jailer, if woman 
were to refuse the indiscriminate breeding of chil- 
dren? The race, the race! shouts the king, the presi- 
dent, the capitalist, the priest. The race must be 
preserved, though woman be degraded to a mere 
machine, — ^and the marriage institution is our only 
safety valve against the pernicious sex awakening of 
woman. But in vain these frantic efforts to main- 
tain a state of bondage. In vain, too, the edicts 
of the Church, the mad attacks of rulers, in vain 
even the arm of the law. Woman no longer wants 
to be a party to the production of a race of sickly, 
feeble, decrepit, wretched human beings, who have 
neither the strength nor moral courage to throw off 
the yoke of poverty and slavery. Instead she de- 
sires fewer and better children, begotten and reared 
in love and through free choice; not by compulsion, 
as marriage imposes. Our pseudo-iporalists have yet 
to learn die deep sense of responsibility toward the 
child, that love in freedom has awakened in the breast 
of woman. Rather would she forego forever the 


glory of motherhood than bring forth life in an at- 
mosphere that breathes only destruction and death. 
And if she does become a mother, it is to give to 
the child the deepest and best her being can yield. 
To grow with the child is her motto; she knows 
that in that manner alone can she help build true 
manhood and womanhood. 

Ibsen must have had a vision of a free mother, 
when, with a master stroke, he portrayed Mrs. Alving. 
She was the ideal mother because she had outgrown 
marriage and all its horrors, because she had broken 
her chains, and set her spirit free to soar until it 
returned a personality, regenerated and strong. Alas, 
it was too late to rescue her life's joy, her Oswald; 
but not too late to realize that love in freedom is the 
only condition of a beautiful life. Those who, like 
Mrs. Alving, have paid with blood and tears for their 
spiritual awakening, repudiate marriage as an impo- 
sition, a shallow, empty mockery. They know, whether 
love last but one brief span of time or for eternity, 
it is the only creative, inspiring, elevating basis for 
a new race, a new world. 

In our present pygmy state love is indeed a 
stranger to most people. Misunderstood and shunned, 
it rarely takes root; or if it does, it soon withers and 
dies. Its delicate fiber can not endure the stress and 
strain of the daily grind. Its soul is too complex to 
adjust itself to the slimy woof of our social fabric. 
It weeps and moans and suffers with those who have 
need of it, yet lack the capacity to rise to love*s 


Some day, some day men and women will rise, 
they will reach the mountain peak, they will meet 
big and strong and free, ready to receive, to partake, 
and to bask in the golden rays of love. What fancy, 
what imagination, what poetic genius can foresee even 
approximately the potentialities of such a force in the 
life of men and women. If the world is ever to 
give birth to true companionship and oneness, not 
marriage, but love will be the parent. 



So LONG as discontent and unrest make themselves 
but dumbly felt within a limited social class, the powers 
of reaction may often succeed in suppressing such 
manifestations. But when the dumb unrest grows into 
conscious expression and becomes almost universal, it 
necessarily affects all phases of human thought and 
action, and seeks its individual and social expression 
in the gradual transvaluation of existing values. 

An adequate appreciation of the tremendous spread 
of the modem, conscious social unrest cannot be gained 
from merely propagandistic literature. Rather must 
we become conversant with the larger phases of human 
expression manifest in art, literature, and, above all, 
the modem drama — ^the strongest and most far-reach- 
ing interpreter of our deep-felt dissatisfaction. 

What a tremendous factor for the awakening of 
conscious discontent are the simple canvasses of a Mil- 
let! The figures of his peasants — ^what terrific indict- 
ment against our social wrongs ; wrongs that condemn 
the Man With the Hoe to hopeless drudgery, himself 
excluded from Nature's bounty. 


The vision of a Meunier conceives the growing 
solidarity and defiance of labor in the group of miners 
carrying their maimed brother to safety. His genius 
thus powerfully portrays the interrelation of the seeth- 
ing unrest among those slaving in the bowels of the 
earth, and the spiritual revolt that seeks artistic ex- 

No less important is the factor for rebellious awak- 
ening in modern literature — ^Turgeniev, Dostoyevsky, 
Tolstoy, Andreiev, Gorki, Whitman, Emerson, and 
scores of others embodying the spirit of universal fer- 
ment and the longing for social change. 

Still more far-reaching is the modem drama, as the 
leaven of radical thought and the disseminator of new 

It might seem an exaggeration to ascribe to the 
modern drama such an important role. But a study 
of the development of modem ideas in most countries 
will prove that the drama has succeeded in driving 
home great social truths, truths generally ignored when 
presented in other forms. No doubt there are excep- 
tions, as Russia and France. 

Russia, with its terrible political pressure, has made 
people think and has awakened their social sympathies, 
because of the tremendous contrast which exists be- 
tween the intellectual life of the people and the despotic 
regime that is trying to crush that life. Yet while 
the great dramatic works of Tolstoy, Tchechov, Gorki, 
and Andreiev closely mirror the life and the struggle, 
the hopes and aspirations of the Russian people, they 
did not influence radical thought to the extent the 
drama has done in other countries. 


Who can deny, however, the tremendous influence 
exerted by The Power of Darkness or Night Lodging. 
Tolstoy, the real, true Christian, is yet the greatest 
enemy of organized Christianity. With a master hand 
he portrays the destructive effects upon the human 
mind of the power of darkness, the superstitions of the 
Christian Church. 

What other medium could express, with such 
dramatic force, the responsibility of the Church for 
crimes committed by its deluded victims; what other 
medium could, in consequence, rouse the indignation 
of man's conscience? 

Similarly direct and powerful is the indictment 
contained in Gk>rki's Night Lodging, The social 
pariahs, forced into poverty and crime, yet desperately 
clutch at the last vestiges of hope and aspiration. Lost 
existences these, blighted and crushed by cruel, un- 
social environment. 

France, on the other hand, with her continuous 
struggle for liberty, is indeed the cradle of radical 
thought; as such she, too, did not need the drama as 
a means of awakening. And yet the works of Brieux 
— as Robe Rouge, portraying the terrible corruption 
of the judiciary — ^and Mirbeau's Les Affaires sont les 
Affaires — picturing the destructive influence of wealth 
on the human soul — ^have undoubtedly reached wider 
circles than most of the articles and books which have 
been written in France on the social question. 

In countries like Germany, Scandinavia, England, 
and even in America — ^though in a lesser degree — the 
drama is the vehicle which is really making history, 


disseminating radical thought in ranks not otfaervrise 
to be reached. 

Let us take Germany, for instance. For nearly a 
quarter of a century men of brains, of ideas, and of 
the greatest integrity, made it their life-work to spread 
the truth of human brotherhood, of justice, among the 
oppressed and downtrodden. Socialism, that tre- 
mendous revolutionary wave, was to the victims of a 
merciless and inhumane syston like water to the 
parched lips of the desert traveler. Alas! The cul- 
tured people remained absolutely indifferent; to them 
that revolutionary tide was but the murmur of dissatis^ 
fied, discontented men, dangerous, illiterate trouble- 
makers, whose proper place was behind prison bars. 

Self-satisfied as the "cultured" usually are, they 
could not understand why one should fuss about the 
fact that thousands of people were starving, though 
they contributed towards the wealth of the world. 
Surrounded by beauty and luxury, they could not be- 
lieve that side by side with them lived human beings 
d^jaded to a position lower than a beast's, shelterless 
and ragged, without hope or ambition. 

This condition of affairs was particularly pro- 
nounced in Germany after the Franco-German war. 
Full to the bursting point with its victory, Germany 
thrived on a sentimental, patriotic literature, thereby 
poisoning the minds of the country's youth by Ac 
glory of conquest and bloodshed. 

Intellectual Germany had to take refuge in the 
literature of other countries, in the works of Ibsen, 
Zola, Daudet, Maupassant, and especially in the great 
works of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Turgeniev. But 



ae no country can long maintitin a standard of culture 
without a literature and drama related to its own soil, 
so Gennany gradually began to develop a drama re- 
flecting the life and the struggles of its own people. 

Amo Holz, one of the youngest dramatists of that 
period, startled the Philistines out of their ease and 
comfort with his FanUlie Selkke, The play deals with 
society's refuse, men and women of the alleys, whose 
only subsistence consists of what they can pick out of 
the garbage barrels. A g^esome subject, is it not? 
And yet what other method is there to break through 
the hard shell of the minds and souls of people who 
have never known want, and who therefore assume that 
all is well in the world? 

Needless to say, the play aroused tremendous in- 
dignation. The truth is bitter, and the people living on 
the Fifth Avenue of Berlin hated to be confronted 
with the truth. 

Not that Famitie Selicke represented anything that 
had not been written about for years without any 
seeming result. But the dramatic genius of Holz, to- 
gether with the powerful interpretation of the play, 
necessarily made inroads into the widest circles, and 
forced people to think about the terrible inequalities 
around them. 

Sudermann's Ehr^ and Heimat^ deal with vital 
subjects. I have already referred to the sentimental 
patriotism so completely turning the head of the aver- 
age German as to create a perverted conception of 
honor. Duelling became an every-day affair, costing 

♦ Honor, 


innumerable lives. A great cry was raised against the 
fad by a number of leading writers. But nothing 
acted as such a clarifier and exposer of that national 
disease as the Ehre. 

Not that the play merely deals with duelling; it 
analyzes the real meaning of honor, proving that it is 
not a fixed, inborn feeling, but that it varies with every 
people and every epoch, depending particularly on 
one's economic and social station in life. We realize 
from this play that the man in the brownstone man- 
sion will necessarily define honor differently from his 

The family Heinecke enjoys the charity of the mil- 
lionaire Miihling, being permitted to occupy a dilapi- 
dated shanty on his premises in the absence of their 
son, Robert. The latter, as Miihling's representative, 
is making a vast fortune for his employer in India 
On his return Robert discovers that his sister had been 
seduced by young Mtihling, whose father graciously 
offers to straighten matters with a check for 40,CXX) 
marks. Robert, outraged and indignant, resents the 
insult to his family's honor, and is forthwith dismissed 
from his position for impudence. Robert finally 
throws this accusation into the face of the philandiro- 
pist millionaire: 

"We slave for you, we sacrifice our heart's blood 
for you, while you seduce our daughters and sisters 
and kindly pay for their disgrace with the gold wc 
have earned for you. That is what you call honor." 

An incidental side-light upon the conception of 
honor is given by Count Trast, the principal character 
in the Ehre, a man widely conversant with the customs 


of various climes, who relates that in his many travels 
he chanced across a savage tribe whose honor he mor- 
tally offended by refusing the hospitality which offered 
him 'the charms of the chieftain's wife. 

The theme of Heimat treates of the struggle be- 
tween the old and the young generations. It holds a 
permanent and important place in dramatic literature. 
Magda, the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel 
Schwartz, has committed an unpardonable sin: she 
refused the suitor selected by her father. For daring 
to disobey the parental commands she is driven from 
home. Magda, full of life and the spirit of liberty, 
goes out into the world to return to her native town, 
tvsrelve years later, a celebrated singer. She consents 
to visit her parents on condition that they respect the 
privacy of her past. But her martinet father imme- 
diately begins to question her, insisting on his "pa- 
ternal rights." Magda is indignant, but gradually his 
persistence brings to light the tragedy of her life. He 
learns that the respected Councillor Von Keller had in 
his student days been Magda's lover, while she was 
battling for her economic and social independence. 
The consequence of the fleeting romance was a child, 
deserted by the man even before birth. The rigid mili- 
tary father of Magda demands as retribution from 
Councillor Von Keller that he legalize the love affair. 
In view of Magda's social and professional success, 
Keller willingly consents, but on condition that she 
forsake the stage, and place the child in an institution. 
The struggle between the Old and the New culminates 
in Magda's defiant words of the woman grown to con- 
scious independence of thought and action: ". . . I'll 


say what I think of you — of you and your respectaUe 
society. Why should I be worse than you that I must 
prolong my existence among you by a lie ! Why should 
this gold upon my body, and the lustre which sur- 
rounds my name, only increase my infamy? Have I 
not worked early and late for ten long years? Have I 
not woven this dress with sleepless nights? Have I 
not built up my career step by step, like thousands of 
my kind? Why should I blush before anyone? I am 
myself, and through myself I have become what I am." 

The general theme of Hdmat was not original. It 
had been previously treated by a master hand in 
Fathers and Sons. Partly because Turgeniev's great 
work was t3rpical rather of Russian than universal 
conditions, and still more because it was in the form 
of fiction, the influence of Faihers and Sons was 
limited to Russia. But Heimat, especially because of 
its dramatic expression, became almost a world factor. 

The dramatist who not only disseminated radical- 
ism, but literally revolutionized the thoughtful Ger- 
mans, is Gerhardt Hauptmann. His first play Vor 
Sonnenauf gangly refused by every leading German 
theatre and first performed in a wretched little play- 
house behind a beer garden, acted like a stroke of 
lightning, illuminating the entire social horizon. Its 
subject matter deals with the life of an extensive land- 
owner, ignorant, illiterate, and brutalized, and his eco- 
nomic slaves of the same mental calibre. The in- 
fluence of wealth, both on the victims who created it 
and the possessor thereof, is shown in the most vivid 

* Before Sunrise, 


colors, as resulting in drunkenness, idiocy, and decay. 
But the most striking feature of Vor Sonnenaufgang, 
the one which brought a shower of abuse on Haupt- 
tnann's head, was the question as to the indiscriminate 
breeding of children by unfit parents. 

During the second performance of the play a lead- 
ing Berlin surgeon almost caused a panic in the theatre 
by swinging a pair of forceps over his head and 
screaming at the top of his voice: "The decency and 
morality of Germany are at stake if childbirth is to be 
discussed openly from the stage." The surgeon is 
forgotten, and Hauptmann stands a colossal figure 
before the world. 

When Die Weber* first saw the light, pande- 
monium broke out in the land of thinkers and poets. 
"What," cried the moralists, "workingmen, dirty, 
filthy slaves, to be put on the stage! Poverty in all 
its horrors and ugliness to be dished out as an after- 
dinner amusement? That is too much!" 

Indeed, it was too much for the fat and greasy 
bourgeoisie to be brought face to face with the horrors 
of the weaver's existence. It was too much because 
of the truth and reality that rang like thunder in the 
deaf ears of self-satisfied society, J' accuse! 

Of course, it was generally known even before the 
appearance of this drama that capital can not get fat 
unless it devours labor, that wealth can not be hoarded 
except through the channels of poverty, hunger, and 
cold ; but such things are better kept in the dark, lest 
the victims awaken to a realization of their position. 

^The Weavers. 


But it is the purpose of the modem drama to rouse 
the consciousness of the oppressed; and that^ indeed, 
was the purpose of Gerhardt Hauptmann in depicting 
to the world the conditions of the weavers in Silesia. 
Human beings working eighteen hours daily, yet not 
earning enough for bread and fuel; human beings 
living in broken, wretched huts half covered with 
snow, and nothing but tatters to protect them from 
the cold; infants covered with scurvy from hunger 
and exposure; pregnant women in the last stages of 
consumption. Victims of a benevolent Christian era, 
without life, without hope, without warmth. Ah, yes, 
it was too much! 

Hauptmann's dramatic versatility deals with ever)* 
stratum of social life. Besides portraying the grinding 
effect of economic conditions, he also treats of the 
struggle of the individual for his mental and spiritual 
liberation from the slavery of convention and tradi- 
tion. Thus Heinrich, the bell-forger, in the dramatic 
prose-poem. Die Versunkene Glocke* fails to reach 
the mountain peaks of liberty because, as Rautendelein 
said, he had lived in the valley too long. Similarly 
Dr. Vockerath and Anna Maar remain lonely souls 
because they, too, lack the strength to defy venerated 
traditions. Yet their very failure must awaken the 
rebellious spirit against a world forever hindering in- 
dividual and social emancipation. 

Max Halbe's Jugendf and Wedekind's FruhUngs 
Erwachen% are dramas which have disseminated rad- 

* The Sunken Bell. 

t Youth. 

t The Awakening of Spring. 


ical thought in an altogether different direction. 
They treat of the child and the dense ignorance and 
narrow Puritanism that meet the awakening of nature. 
Particularly is this true of FruMing's Erwachen, 
Young girls and boys sacrificed on the altar of false 
education and of our sickening morality that prohibits 
the enlightenment of youth as to questions so im- 
perative to the health and well-being of society, — ^the 
origin of life, and its functions. It shows how a mother 
— and a truly good mother, at that — ^keeps her four- 
teen-year-old daughter in absolute ignorance as to all 
matters of sex, and when finally the young girl falls 
a victim to her ignorance, the same mother sees her 
child killed by quack medicines. The inscription on 
her grave states that she died of anaemia, and morality 
is satisfied. 

The fatality of our Puritanic hypocrisy in these 
matters is especially illumined by Wedekind in so far 
as our most promising children fall victims to sex 
ignorance and the utter lack of appreciation on the 
part of the teachers of the child's awakening. 

Wendla, unusually developed and alert for her age, 
pleads with her mother to explain the mystery of life: 

"I have a sister who has been married for two and 
a half years. I myself have been made an aunt for 
the third time, and I haven't the least idea how it all 
comes about. . . Don't be cross, Mother, dear! 
Whom in the world should I ask but you? Don't 
scold me for asking about it. Give me an answer. — 
How does it happen ? — ^You cannot really deceive your- 
self that I, who am fourteen years old, still believe in 
the stork." 


Were her mother herself not a victim of false no- 
tions of morality, an affectionate and sensible explana- 
tion might have saved her daughter. But the con- 
ventional mother seeks to hide her ''moral'' shame and 
embarrassment in this evasive reply: 

"In order to have a child — one must love — ^the man 
— to vfhom one is married. . . . One must love him, 
Wendla, as you at your age are still unable to love. — 
Now you know it!" 

How much Wendla "knew" the mother realized 
too late. The pregnant girl imagines herself ill with 
dropsy. And when her mother cries in desperation, 
"You haven't the dropsy, you have a child, girl/' the 
agonized Wendla exclaims in bewilderment: "But it's 
not possible. Mother, I am not married yet. . . . Oh, 
Mother, why didn't you tell me everything?" 

With equal stupidity the boy Morris is driven to 
suicide because he fails in his school examinations. 
And Melchior, the youthful father of Wendla's unborn 
child, is sent to the House of Correction, his early 
sexual awakening stamping him a degenerate in the 
eyes of teachers and parents. 

For years thoughtful men and women in Germany 
had advocated the compelling necessity of sex en- 
lightenment Mutterschutz, a publication specially de- 
voted to frank and intelligent discussion of the sex 
problem, has been carrying on its agitation for a con- 
siderable time. But it remained for the dramatic 
genius of Wedekind to influence radical thought to 
the extent of forcing the introduction of sex physiology 
in many schools of Germany. 

Scandinavia, like Germany, was advanced dirougfa 


the drama much more than through any other chan- 
nel. Long before Ibsen appeared on the scene, Bjorn- 
son, the great essayist, thundered against the inequali* 
ties and injustice prevalent in those countries. But his 
was a voice in the wilderness, reaching but the few. 
Not so with Ibsen. His Brand, DoWs House, Pillars 
of Society, Ghosts, and An Enemy of the People have 
considerably undermined the old conceptions, and re- 
placed them by a modem and real view of life. One 
has but to read Brand to realize the modern concep- 
tion, let us say, of religion, — religion, as an ideal to be 
achieved on earth; religion as a principle of human 
brotherhood, of solidarity, and kindness. 

Ibsen, the supreme hater of all social shams, has 
torn the veil of h)rpocrisy from their faces. His great- 
est onslaught, however, is on the four cardinal points 
supporting the flimsy network of society. First, the 
lie upon which rests the life of today; second, the 
futility of sacrifice as preached by our moral codes; 
third, petty material consideration, which is the only 
god the majority worships ; and fourth, the deadening 
influence of provincialism. These four recur as the 
leitmotif in most of Ibsen's plays, but particularly in 
Pillars of Society, Doll's House, Ghosts, and An 
Enemy of the People. 

Pillars of Society! What a tremendous indictment 
against the social structure that rests on rotten and 
decayed pillars, — pillars nicely gilded and apparently 
intact, yet merely hiding their true condition. And 
what are these pillars ? 

G>nsul Bemick, at the very height of his social 
and financial career, the benefactor of his town and 


the Strongest pillar of the community, has reached the 
summit through the channel of lies, deception, and 
fraud He has robbed his bosom friend, Johann, of 
his good name, and has betrayed Lona Hessel, the 
woman he loved, to marry her step-sister for the sake 
of her money. He has enriched himself by shady 
transactions, under cover of "the community's good," 
and finally even goes to the extent of endangering 
human life by preparing the Indian Girl, a rotten and 
dangerous vessel, to go to sea. 

But the return of Lona brings him the realization 
of the emptiness and meanness of his narrow life. He 
seeks to placate the waking conscience by the hope 
that he has cleared the ground for the better life of 
his son, of the new generation. But even this last 
hope soon falls to the ground, as he realizes that truth 
cannot be built on a lie. At the very moment when 
the whole town is prepared to celebrate the great bene- 
factor of the community with banquet praise, he him- 
self, now grown to full spiritual manhood, confesses 
to the assembled townspeople: 

"I have no right to this homage — . . . My fdlow- 
citizens must know me to the core. Then let every- 
one examine himself, and let us realize the prediction 
that from this event we begin a new time. The old, 
with its tinsel, its hypocrisy, its hoUowness, its lying 
propriety, and its pitiful cowardice, shall lie behind us 
like a museum, open for instruction." 

With a Doll's House Ibsen has paved the way for 
woman's emancipation. Nora awakens from her doH's 
role to the realization of the injustice done her by her 
father and her husband, Helmer Torvald. 


"While I was at home with father, he used to tell 
me all his opinions, and I held the same opinions. If 
I had others I concealed them, because he would not 
have approved. He used to call me his doll child, and 
play with me as I played with my dolls. Then I came 
to live in your house. You settled everything accord- 
ing to your taste, and I got the same taste as you, or I 
pretended to. When I look back on it now, I seeni to 
have been living like a beggar, from hand to mouth. 
I lived by performing tricks for you, Torvald, but you 
would have it so. You and father have done me a 
great wrong." 

In vain Helmer uses the old philistine arguments 
of wifely duty and social obligations. Nora has grown 
out of her doll's dress into full stature of conscious 
womanhood. She is determined to. think and judge 
for herself. She has realized that, before all else, she 
is a human being, owing the first duty to herself. She 
is undaunted even by the possibility of social ostracism. 
She has become sceptical of the justice of the law, the 
wisdom of the constituted. Her rebelling soul rises 
in protest against the existing. In her own words: 
"I must make up my mind which is right, society or I." 

In her childlike faith in her husband she had hoped 
for the great miracle. But it was not the disappointed 
hope that opened her vision to the falsehoods of mar- 
riage. It was rather the smug contentment of Helmer 
with a safe lie — one that would remain hidden and not 
endanger his social standing. 

When Nora closed behind her the door of her 
gilded cage and went out into the world a new, 
regenerated personality, she opened the gate of free- 


dom and truth for her own sex and the race to come. 

More than any other play, Ghosts has acted like a 
bomb explosion, shaking the social structure to its 
very foundations. 

In Doll's Hottse the justification of the union be- 
tween Nora and Helmer rested at least on the hus- 
band's conception of integ^ty and rigid adherence to 
our social morality. Indeed, he was the conventional 
ideal husband and devoted father. Not so in Ghosts, 
Mrs. Alving married Captain Alving only to find that 
he was a physical and mental wreck, and that life with 
him would mean utter degradation and be fatal to 
possible offspring. In her despair she turned to her 
youth's companion, young Pastor Manders who, as the 
true savior of souls for heaven, must needs be indiflFer- 
ent to earthly necessities. He sent her back to shame 
and degradation, — ^to her duties to husband and home- 
Indeed, happiness — ^to him — ^was but the unholy mani- 
festation of a rebellious spirit, and a wife's duty was 
not to judge, but "to bear with humility the cross 
which a higher power had for your own good laid 
upon you." 

Mrs. Alving bore the cross for twenty-six lomg 
years. Not for the sake of the higher power, but for 
her little son Oswald, whom she longed to save from 
the poisonous atmosphere of her husband's home. 

It was also for the sake of the beloved son that 
she supported the lie of his father's goodness, in super- 
stitious awe of "duty and decency." She learned, 
alas! too late, that the sacrifice of her entire life bad 
been in vain, and that her son Oswald was visited by 
the sins of his father, that he was irrevocably doomed. 


This, too, she learned, that "we are all of us ghosts. 
It is not only what we have inherited from our father 
and mother that walks in us. It is all sorts of dead 
ideas and lifeless old beliefs. They have no vitality, 
but they cling to us all the same and we can't get rid 
of them. . . . And then we are, one and all, so piti- 
fully afraid of light. When you forced me under the 
yoke you called Duty and Obligation; when you 
praised as right and proper what my whole soul re- 
belled against as something loathsome; it was then 
that I began to look into the seams of your doctrine. I 
only wished to pick at a single knot, but when I had 
got that undone, the whole thing ravelled out. And 
then I understood that it was all machine-sewn." 

How could a society machine-sewn, fathom the 
seething depths whence issued the great masterpiece of 
Henrik Ibsen? It could not understand, and there- 
fore it poured the vials of abuse and venom upon its 
greatest benefactor. That Ibsen was not daunted he 
has proved by his reply in An Enemy of the People. 

In that great drama Ibsen performs the last funeral 
rites over a decaying and dying social system. Out 
of its ashes rises the regenerated individual, the bold 
and daring rebel. Dr. Stockman, an idealist, full of 
social sympathy and solidarity, is called to his native 
town as the physician of the baths. He soon dis- 
covers that the latter are built on a swamp, and that 
instead of finding relief the patients, who flock to the 
place, are being poisoned. 

An honest man, of strong convictions, the doctor 
considers it his duty to make his discovery known. 
But he soon learns that dividends and profits are con- 


ceraed neither with health nor principles. Even the 
reformers of the town, represented in the People's 
Messenger, always ready to prate of their devotion to 
the people, withdraw their support from the "reckless" 
idealist, the moment they learn that the doctor's dis- 
covery may bring the town into disrepute, and thus 
injure their pockets. 

But Doctor Stockman continues in the faith he 
entertains for his townsmen. They would hear him. 
But here, too, he soon finds himself alone. He cannot 
even secure a place to proclaim his great trutii. And 
when he finally succeeds, he is overwhelmed by abuse 
and ridicule as the enemy of the people. The doctor, 
so enthusiastic of his townspeople's assistance to eradi- 
cate the evil, is soon driven to a solitary position. The 
announcement of his discovery would result in a 
pecuniary loss to the town, and that consideration in- 
duces the officials, the good citizens, and soul reform- 
ers, to stifle the voice of truth. He finds them all a 
compact majority, unscrupulous enough to be willing 
to build up the prosperity of the town on a quagmire 
of lies and fraud. He is accused of trying to ruin the 
coinmunity. But to his mind "it does not matter if a 
lying community is ruined. It must be levelled to the 
ground. All men who live upon lies must be exter- 
minated like vermin. You'll bring it to such a pass 
that the whole country will deserve to perish." 

Doctor Stockman is not a practical politician. A 
free man, he thinks, must not behave like a blacl^^ard. 
"He must not so act that he would spit in his own 
face." For only cowards permit "considerations** of 
pretended general welfare or of party to override tnttfa 


and ideals. "Party progranimes wring the necks of 
all young, living truths; and considerations of ex- 
pediency turn morality and righteousness upside 
down, until life is simply hideous." 

These play« of Ibsen — The PUlars of Society, A 
Doll's House, Ghosts, and An Enemy of the People — 
constitute a dynamic force which is gradually dissipat- 
ing the ghosts walking the social burying ground called 
civilization. Nay, more; Ibsen's destructive effects arc 
at the same time supremely constructive, for he not 
merely undermines existing pillars; indeed, he builds 
with sure strokes the foundation of a healthier, ideal 
future, based on the sovereignty of the individual with- 
in a sympathetic social environment. 

England with her great pioneers of radical thought, 
the intellectual pilgrims like Godwin, Robert Owen, 
Darwin, Spencer, William Morris, and scores of 
others; with her wonderful larks of liberty — Shelley, 
Byron, Keats — is another example of the influence 
of dramatic art. Within comparatively a few years, 
the dramatic works of Shaw, Pinero, Galsworthy, 
Rann Kennedy, have carried radical thought to the 
ears formerly deaf even to Great Britain's wondrous 
poets. Thus a public which will remain indifferent 
reading an essay by Robert Owen, on Poverty, or 
ignore Bernard Shaw's Socialistic tracts, was made 
to think by Major Barbara, wherein poverty is de- 
scribed as the greatest crime of Christian civilization. 
"Poverty makes people weak, slavish, puny; poverty 
creates disease, crime, prostitution; in fine, poverty is 
responsible for all the ills and evils of the world." 
Poverty also necessitates dependency, charitable or- 


ganizations, institutions that thrive off the very thing 
they are trying to destroy. The Salvation Army^ for 
instance, as shown in Major Barbara, fights drunken- 
ness; yet one of its greatest contributors is Badger, a 
whiskey distiller, who furnishes yearly thousands of 
pounds to do away with the very source of his wealth. 
Bernard Shaw, therefore, concludes that the only real 
benefactor of society is a man like Undershaft, Bar- 
bara's father, a cannon manufacturer, whose theory 
of life is that powder is stronger than words. 

"The worst of crimes," says Undershaft, "is pov- 
erty. All the other crimes are virtues beside it; all 
the other dishonors are chivalry itself by comparison. 
Poverty blights whole cities; spreads horrible pesti- 
lences; strikes dead the very soul of all who come 
within sight, sound, or smell of it. What you call 
crime is nothing ; a murder here, a theft there, a blow 
now and a curse there: what do they matter? They 
are only the accidents and illnesses of life; there are 
not fifty genuine professional criminals in London. 
But there are millions of poor people, abject people, 
dirty people, ill-fed, ill-clothed people. They poison 
us morally and physically; they kill the happiness of 
society; they force us to do away with our own liber- 
ties and to organize unnatural cruelties for fear diey 
should rise against us and drag us down into ther 
abyss. . . . Poverty and slavery have stood up fw 
centuries to your sermons and leading articles; they 
will not stand up to my machine guns. Don't preach 
at them; don't reason with them. Kill them. • . . 
It is the final test of conviction, the only lever strong 
enough to overturn a social system. . . . Vote! Bab! 


When you vote, you only change the name of the 
cabinet. When you shoot, you pull down govern- 
ments, inaugurate new epochs, abolish old orders, and 
set up new." 

No wonder people cared little to read Mr. Shaw's 
Socialistic tracts. In no other way but in the drama 
could he deliver such forcible, historic truths. And 
therefore it is only through the drama that Mr. Shaw 
is a revolutionary factor in the dissemination of radical 

After Hauptmann's Die Weber, Strife, by Gals- 
worthy, is the most important labor drama. 

The theme of Strife is a strike with two dominant 
factors : Anthony, the president of the company, rigid, 
uncompromising, unwilling to make the slightest con- 
cession, although the men held out for months and are 
in a condition of semi-starvation ; and David Roberts, 
an uncompromising revolutionist, whose devotion to 
the workingman and the cause of freedom is at white 
heat. Between them the strikers are worn and weary 
with the terrible struggle, and are harassed and 
driven by the awful sight of poverty and want in their 

The most marvellous and brilliant piece of work in 
Strife is Galsworthy's portrayal of the mob, its fickle- 
ness, and lack of backbone. One moment they ap- 
plaud old Thomas, who speaks of the power of God 
and religion and admonishes the men against rebel- 
lion; the next instant they are carried away by a walk- 
ing delegate, who pleads the cause of the unioi\, — ^the 
union that always stands for compromise, and which 
forsakes the workingmen whenever they djre to strike 


for independent demands; again they are aglow with 
the earnestness, the spirit, and the intensity of David 
Roberts — all these people willing to go in whatever 
direction the wind blows. It is the ctirse of the 
working class that they always follow like sheep led 
to slaughter. 

Consistency is the greatest crime of our commer- 
cial age. No matter how intense the spirit or how im- 
portant the man, the moment he will not allow himself 
to be used or sell his principles, he is thrown on the 
dustheap. Such was the fate of the president of the 
company, Anthony, and of David Roberts. To be sure 
they represented opposite poles — ^poles antagonistic to 
each other, poles divided by a terrible gap that can 
never be bridged over. Yet they shared a common 
fate. Anthony is the embodiment of conservatism, of 
old ideas, of iron methods: 

"I have been chairman of this company thirty-two 
years. I have fought the men four times. I have 
never been defeated. It has been said that times have 
changed. If they have, I have not changed with thcm. 
It has been said that masters and men are equal Cant 
There can be only one master in a house. It has been 
said that Capital and Labor have the same interests. 
Cant. Their interests are as wide asunder as the poles. 
There is only one way of treating men — ^with the iron 
rod. Masters are masters. Men are men." 

We may not like this adherence to old, reactionary 
notions, and yet there is something admirable in the 
courage and consistency of this man, nor is he half 
as dangerous to the interests of the oppressed, as our 
sentimental and soft reformers who rob with nine 


fingers, and give libraries with the tenth; who grind 
human beings like Russell Sage, and then spend mil- 
lions of dollars in social research work; who turn 
beautiful young plants into faded old women, and then 
g^ive them a few paltry dollars or found a Home for 
Working Girls. Anthony is a worthy foe; and to 
fight such a foe, one must learn to meet him in open 

David Roberts has all the mental and moral attri- 
butes of his adversary, coupled with the spirit of re- 
volt, and the depth of modem ideas. He, too, is con- 
sistent, and wants nothing for his class short of com- 
plete victory. 

"It is not for this little moment of time we are 
fighting, not for our own little bodies and their 
warmth: it is for all those who come after, for all 
times. Oh, men, for the love of them don't turn up 
another stone on their heads, don't help to blacken the 
sky. If we can shake that white-faced monster with 
the bloody lips that has sucked the lives out of our- 
selves, our wives, and children, since the world b^^an, 
if we have not the hearts of men to stand against it, 
breast to breast and eye to eye, and force it backward 
till it cry for mercy, it will go on sucking life, and we 
shall stay forever where we are, less than the very 

It is inevitable that compromise and petty interest 
should pass on and leave two such giants behind. 
Inevitable, until the mass will reach the stature of a 
David Roberts. Will it ever? Prophecy is not the 
vocation of the dramatist, yet the moral lesson is evi- 
dent. One cannot help realizing that the workingmen 


will have to use methods hitherto unfamiliar to them: 
that they will have to discard all those elements in 
their midst that are forever ready to reconcile the 
irreconcilable, namely Capital and Labor. They will 
have to learn that characters like David Roberts are 
the very forces that have revolutionized the world 
and thus paved the way for emancipation out of 
the clutches of that "white-faced monster with bloody 
lips/' towards a brighter horizon, a freer life, and a 
deeper recognition of human values. 

No subject of equal social import has received such 
extensive consideration within the last few years as the 
question of prison and punishment. 

Hardly any magazine of consequence that has not 
devoted its columns to the discussion of this vital 
theme. A number of books by able writers, both in 
America and abroad, have discussed this topic from 
the historic, psychologic, and social standpoint, all 
agreeing that present penal institutions and our mode 
of coping with crime have in every respect proved 
inadequate as well as wasteful. One would expect 
that something very radical should result from the 
cumulative literary indictment of the social crimes 
perpetrated upon the prisoner. Yet with the excep- 
tion of a few minor and comparatively insignificant 
reforms in some of our prisons, absolutely nothing has 
been accomplished. But at last this grave social 
wrong has found dramatic interpretation in Gals- 
worthy's Justice. 

The play opens in the office of James How and 
Sons, Solicitors. The senior clerk, Robert Cokesoo, 
discovers that a check he had issued for nine pounds 


has been forged to ninety. By elimination, suspicion 
falls upon William Falder, the junior office clerk. The 
latter is in love with a married woman, the abused, 
ill-treated wife of a brutal drunkard. Pressed by his 
employer, a severe yet not imkindly man, Falder con- 
fesses the forgery, pleading the dire necessity of his 
sweatheart, Ruth Hone3nvill, with whom he had 
planned to escape to save her from the unbearable 
brutality of her husband. Notwithstanding the en- 
treaties of young Walter, who is touched by modem 
ideas, his father, a moral and law-respecting citizen, 
turns Falder over to the police. 

The second act, in the court-room, shows Justice 
in the very process of manufacture. The scene equals 
in dramatic power and psychologic verity the great 
court scene in Resurrection. Young Falder, a nervous 
and rather weakly youth of twenty-three, stands before 
the bar. Ruth, his married sweetheart, full of love 
and devotion, bums with anxiety to save the young 
man whose affection brought about his present pre- 
dicament. The young man is defended by Lawyer 
Frome, whose speech to the jury is a masterpiece 
Df deep social philosophy wreathed with the tendrils 
of human understanding and s)rmpathy. He does not 
ittempt to dispute the mere fact of Falder having 
iltered the check; and though he pleads temporary 
iberration in defense of his client, that plea is based 
ipon a social consciousness as deep and all-embracing 
IS the roots of our social ills — "the background of life, 
hat palpitating life which always lies behind the com- 
nission of a crime." He shows Falder to have faced 
he alternative of seeing the beloved woman murdered 


by her brutal husband, whom she caimot divorce; or 
of taking the law into his own hands. The defence 
pleads with the jury Hot to turn the weak 3roung 
man into a criminal by condemning him to prison, 
for ''justice is a machine that, when someone has 
given it a starting push, rolls on of itself. . . . 
Is this young man to be ground to pieces under this 
machine for an act which, at the worst, was one 
of weakness ? Is he to become a member of the luck- 
less crews that man those dark, ill-starred ships called 
prisons? ... I urge you, gentlemen, do not ruin 
this young man. For as a result of those four min- 
utes, ruin, utter and irretrievable, stares him in the 
face. . . . The rolling of the chariot wheels of 
Justice over this boy began when it was decided to 
prosecute him." 

But the chariot of Justice rolls mercilessly on, 
for — ^as the learned Judge says — "the law is what 
it is — a majestic edifice, sheltering all of us, each 
stone of which rests on another." 

Falder is sentenced to three years' penal servitude. 

In prison, the young, inexperienced convict soon 
finds himself the victim of the terrible "system," The 
authorities admit that young Falder is mentally and 
physically "in bad shape," but nothing can be done in 
the matter: many others are in a similar position, and 
"the quarters are inadequate." 

The third scene of the third act is heart-gripping 
in its silent force. The whole scene is a pantomime, 
taking place in Falder's prison cell. 

"In fast-falling daylight, Falder, in his stockings, 
is seen standing motionless^ with his head indined 


towards the door, listening. He moves a little closer 
to the door, his stockinged feet making no noise. He 
stops at the door. He is trying harder and harder 
to hear something, any little thing that is going on 
outside. He springs suddenly upright — ^as if at a 
sound — and remains perfectly motionless. Then, with 
a heavy sigh, he moves to his work, and stands 
looking at it, with his head down; he does a stitch 
or two, having the air of a man so lost in sadness 
that each stitch is, as it were, a coming to life. Then, 
turning abruptly, he begins pacing his cell, moving 
his head, like an animal pacing its cage. He stops 
again at the door, listens, and, placing the palms of 
his hands against it with his fingers spread out, leans 
his forehead against the iron. Turning from it, pres- 
ently, he moves slowly back towards the window, 
holding his head, as if he felt that it were going to 
burst, and stops under the window. But since he 
cannot see out of it he leaves off looking, and, picking 
up the lid of one of the tins, peers into it, as if trying 
to make a companion of his own face. It has grown 
very nearly dark. Suddenly the lid falls out of his 
hand with a clatter — ^the only sound that has broken 
the silence — and he stands staring intently at the wall 
where the stuff of the shirt is hanging rather white in 
the darkness — ^he seems to be seeing somebody or 
something there. There is a sharp tap and click; 
the cell light behind the glass screen has been turned 
up. The cell is brightly lighted. Falder is s^en 
gasping for breath. 

A sound from far away, as of distant, dull beating 
on thick metal, is suddenly audible. Falder shrinks 


the attitude of the intelligent public toward modern 
plays, even if they be from foreign soil. 

The only real drama America has so far produced 
is The Easiest Way, by Eugene Walter. 

It is supposed to represent a "peculiar phase" of 
New York life. If that were all, it would be of 
minor significance. That which gives the play its 
real importance and value lies much deeper. It lies, 
first, in the fundamental current of our social fabric 
which drives us all, even stronger characters than 
Laura, into the easiest way — ^a way so very destructive 
of integrity, truth, and justice. Secondly, the cruel, 
senseless fatalism conditioned in Laura's sex. These 
two features put the universal stamp upon the play, 
and characterize it as one of the strongest dramatic 
indictments against society. 

The criminal waste of human energy, in economic 
and social conditions, drives Laura as it drives the 
average girl to marry any man for a "home"; or 
as it drives men to endure the worst indignities for 
a miserable pittance. 

Then there is that other respectable institution, 
the fatalism of Laura's sex. The inevitability of that 
force is summed up in the following words: "Don't 
you know that we count no more in the life of 
these men than tamed animals? It's a game, and if 
we don't play our cards well, we lose." Woman 
in the battle with life has but one weapon, one com- 
modity — sex. That alone serves as a trump card 
in the game of life. 

This blind fatalism has made of woman a parasite, 


an inert thing. Why then expect perseverance or 
energy of Laura ? The easiest way is the path mapped 
out for her from time immemorial. She could follow 
no other. 

A number of other plays could be quoted as char- 
acteristic of the growing role of the drama as a dis- 
seminator of radical thought. Suffice to mention 
The Third Degree, by Charles Klein; The Fourth 
Estate, by Medill Patterson; A Man's World, by Ida 
Croutchers, — all pointing to the dawn of dramatic art 
in America, an art which is discovering to the people 
the terrible diseases of our social body. 

It has been said of old, all roads lead to Rome. 
In paraphrased application to the tendencies of our 
day, it may truly be said that all roads lead to the 
g^eat social reconstruction. The economic awakening 
of the workingman, and his realization of the necessity 
for concerted industrial action; the tendencies of mod- 
ern education, especially in their application to the 
free development of the child; the spirit of growing 
unrest expressed through, and cultivated by, art and 
literature, all pave the way to the Open Road. Above 
all, the modern drama, operating through the double 
channel of dramatist and interpreter, affecting as it 
does both mind and heart, is the strongest force in 
developing social discontent, swelling the powerful 
tide of unrest that sweeps onward and over the dam 
of Ignorance, prejudice, and superstition. 




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